Harlem Street Party Shootout Kills Man, Wounds Cops; Did Police Fire Fatal Shots?

Scene Sunday Morning in Harlem After Deadly Shootout (WCBS)
Scene Early Sunday Morning in Harlem After Deadly Shootout (WCBS)

HARLEM, NY (CBS/AP/WCBS)A shootout at a neighborhood barbecue left one person dead and several others injured, including two police officers -- and conflicting accounts as to who fired the fatal shots.

There were about 500 people at the upper Manhattan street party Sunday morning when an argument broke out, reportedly over a woman. Police were called to break up the fight around 3 a.m.

When authorities arrived Angel Alvarez, 23, allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old Luis Soto, then turned and fired at the approaching officers, police say. Four of the five officers at the scene were involved in the exchange of  fire, with over 40 bullets fired.

The incident was described as very chaotic with bullets flying everywhere and people running in all directions.

CBS affiliate WCBS said some witnesses recount the details very differently than police. "They formed a circle around the guys that were fighting and stood there, and just opened up fire on the two guys," witness Shariff Senter, said.

Other witnesses have claimed that police were the only ones to fire guns that morning, and that Soto was handcuffed and unarmed when he was killed.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly acknowledged that what police believe happened could change as more evidence becomes available, reports the CBS affiliate.

Police Officer Michael Tedeschi was shot in the chest during the hectic shooting but was saved by his protective vest. A second officer was hit in the hand.

Three civilians were also hit by the copious bullets and are in stable condition at a Harlem hospital.