11/03/2006

N.Y. police kill man in shootout

By Rocco Parascandola, Staff Writer
Newsday
Copyright 2006 Newsday, Inc.

An ex-convict was shot to death in a gun battle with two narcotics cops in the Bronx, police said yesterday, a confrontation remarkably similar to a shooting last week in Brooklyn.

Jose Rivera, 32, was pointing a 9-mm handgun at another man Wednesday night when a sergeant and a detective, both assigned to narcotics and both in plainclothes, saw what was happening, identified themselves as police officers and ordered Rivera to drop his weapon, police said.

Instead, they said, Rivera fired up to seven shots at the officers. The sergeant and detective, neither of whom was struck, returned fire, hitting Rivera twice in each leg, twice in the head and once in the chest.

Rivera died a short time later at St. Barnabas Hospital. The 22-year-old man he had held at gunpoint was not injured.

The altercation took place at 8 p.m. at 183rd Street and Washington Avenue in the Belmont section.

It was not clear why Rivera was threatening the other man, police said.

Neither the sergeant, a 10- year veteran, nor the detective, a eight-year veteran, has been involved in a previous shooting, police said.

Rivera in May was conditionally released by the state Division of Parole after serving more than 13 years on a weapons and assault conviction, authorities said. He also has five robbery arrests as a juvenile, a police source said.

Police said the shooting was similar to an unrelated killing Oct. 26 in which Sgt. James Rector shot and killed Eric Hines, 17, in Fort Greene.

Police said Hines was holding his gun to the head of a 26-year-old man when Rector, an 11-year veteran of the force who had just left the NYPD recruitment center he supervises, told Hines to drop the gun.

Hines, police said, fired at Rector. One shot struck him in the leg and a second shot crashed through his cell phone, then entered his hip and exited his buttocks.

Rector fired back, striking and killing Hines. Rector was treated at Bellevue Hospital Center and released last Friday.

Police said both shootings were within department guidelines.

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