05/19/2007

Man dies after shots fired by off-duty NYPD officer

The Associated Press
 
NEW YORK — An off-duty police officer fired shots in a confrontation that left another man dead, although it was not clear whether he was killed by the gunfire or a car crash, police said.

The off-duty officer suffered minor injuries in the encounter, police said.

The officer heard a dispute at about 11:30 p.m. Friday on Hewitt Place, in the South Bronx, and went to investigate, according to police. They said the officer found that a male driver had hit a parked sport utility vehicle, pushing it into another parked car, and was trying to flee the scene.

The officer tried to stop the driver, and in the confrontation, he fired an unknown number of shots, police said. They said it wasn't known early Saturday whether any of those rounds hit the other man.

The man then drove about two blocks until his car sideswiped another vehicle, jumped a curb and crashed at Hewitt Place and Westchester Avenue, according to police. The engine block caught fire, they said.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not say how the officer, who was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, had been hurt. They said they were still investigating the circumstances that prompted him to fire his weapon.

Police did not identify either the officer or the man who died.

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