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Off-duty officer shoots unarmed man inside Bronx store, sources say

Off-duty officer shoots unarmed man in Bronx furniture store after argument
Off-duty officer shoots unarmed man in Bronx furniture store after argument 02:00

NEW YORK -- Police are investigating after an off-duty NYPD officer shot an unarmed man in the Bronx on Thursday.

Crime scene investigators carried evidence bags out of the Hollywood Touch of Class furniture and fabric store on White Plains Road. It's where police say around 3 p.m., a 30-year-old off-duty NYPD officer got into some sort of dispute with a 42-year-old man and pulled out his gun.

"During the dispute, the off-duty police officer discharged his weapon one time, striking the male once in the left arm and subsequently grazing the male's chest. The male was removed to Jacobi Hospital, where he's being treated for his injuries," NYPD Assistant Chief Benjamin Gurley said.

"He was bleeding from the left-hand side," witness Ryan Willis said.

Willis says he saw the 42-year-old man pull up on a scooter right before he walked into the store, which he describes as a hang-out spot in the community.

"He was walking and rocking, seems like he was drinking because you could smell the alcohol on his breath," Willis said.

"Do you know why he went in the furniture store?" Bauman asked.

"People always went to the furniture store. They have pool tables inside and all that," Willis said.

Investigators have a lot of work to do.

They're still trying to figure out what prompted the officer to pull out his gun and if he fired it himself or the gun went off while the two men were grappling.

Sources tell us the 42-year-old man was unarmed, while the officer is a rookie who just graduated from the police academy and is stationed in the Bronx.

"The cop is a peaceful fella. He don't give trouble. He don't say much. He's a cool guy. He's loved by the community," Willis said.

Residents are anxiously waiting for investigators to finish interviewing witnesses and sifting through surveillance video.

"It's kind of unsettling," resident Denika Foster said.

"We have to hear both sides of the story. The police officer's side, as well as the victim's side, then we can draw our own conclusions," resident Jamil Ashabuur said.

The officer was also hospitalized, which is NYPD protocol whenever a cop fires their gun.

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