05/23/2012

Hayley HudsonStories from the Beat
with Hayley Hudson

Machete takedown: A NY cop's good shoot

'There were no loopholes, no loose cannons — everything was done by the book'

“Officer, you’ve gotta do something. There’s a man outside and he’s trying to kill somebody.”

It was Detective Ray Bravo's first ever shift at a White Plains county courthouse, when a man burst in through the doors and breathlessly said those words.

The response was swift. Bravo and a probation officer headed out into the daylight and immediately saw this was not your average call.

"I go outside. It’s a typical street intersection — a T intersection with two lanes one way and two lanes the other way. I see a 6’2” and 420-pound male with a machete, chasing a woman,” Bravo told PoliceOne.

Monster on the Run
Bravo quickly surveyed the scene: A woman with a child in her arms and dragging another behind her as she runs through a slew of people crowding the New York intersection. And a crazed man, later identified as Andrew Guy, armed with the machete.

Bravo got himself to a spot behind some shrubs and yelled for the monster to drop his weapon — a brief distraction at best.

“He stops chasing the woman and the kids, and he runs to the outside of a corner store," Bravo, 49, said. "He stands on the sidewalk and starts swinging.”

Eyeing a nearby group of children playing on a playground and imagining the worst, Bravo knew it was time to break cover. As he did, Guy was suddenly behind him, screaming and raising his weapon.

“I'm in the middle of the intersection and I fire two rounds. Boom, boom," Bravo said.

Guy began to fall out of Bravo’s line of vision, but more gunfire interrupted the descent.

Boom. Boom. "Did I miss a gun?" Bravo wondered.  As he looked to his left, he realized the second shooter wasn’t the perp, but the probation officer, who had also fired twice. After quickly confirming the other was okay, they got to work.

Done by the Book
Bravo handcuffed Guy as a group of responding officers made a perimeter and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

Guy was transported to the hospital, with medical staff finding two entry wounds, two exit wounds and two more rounds lodged in his chest, meaning Bravo and the probation officer each hit their intended target.

It was a good shoot.

"There were no loopholes, no loose cannons — everything was done by the book," Bravo said. "When the case went to Grand Jury, it wasn't my actions being brought there. It was the actions of Andrew Guy."

In court, witnesses' statements lauded Bravo for saving the woman, children and more than 50 bystanders who at any second could’ve come under attack. And his play-by-play recollection is so precise it could double as a mental checklist for any street cop.

“I called for help, used cover and communicated with arm signals and voice commands," he said. "When he started walking toward the playground, I had to break cover and go after him.

"Once in the open, I attacked, but not with an excessive amount of bullets. Then, I moved after shooting and didn’t plant myself. Once he was down, I contacted HQ to advise we needed an ambulance, secured evidence and took him into custody.“

With a history of mental illness, Guy wasn't jailed for the incident, with authorities instead deciding to send him to an outpatient program.  A few years later, he was finally put behind bars after being convicted of trying to murder a fellow patient at a mental health facility.

Eleven years on from the incident, Bravo looks back on 2001 as being "one of those years."

"I stopped a guy from killing himself, I rescued a baby, and I had a good shoot,” he said.

About the author

Hayley Hudson is a contributor to PoliceOne, writing primarily on the people and personalities in police work, focusing on how others might relate to and learn from them.
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