12/29/2000

Off duty detective kills two
while defending in-law's store
[New York, NY]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(NEW YORK) -- An off-duty NYPD detective fatally shot two men trying to rob his mother-in-law's deli at gunpoint on Dec. 25, according to police.

About 6:15 p.m. the would-be robbers entered the store and commanded Detective Michael Zeller, his wife and their two children to get down on the floor.

According to reports, Zeller pulled out his gun and started firing at the suspects.

Johnathan Lynch, 32, and James Culberson, 25, of Queens never fired a shot, according to FoxNews and the Associated Press. Culberson dropped a fully loaded .22 caliber pistol, investigators said. Authorities declined to provide additional specifics, but said that one suspect died at the scene and one died at a local hospital.

Although Zeller and his family were not physically injured, the 15-year NYPD veteran was taken to the hospital where he was treated for emotional trauma, police said.

 

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