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Gunfight in NYC leaves 4 dead; 2 auxiliary officers fatally shot

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Writer
NY Times: Uniformed Eyes and Ears on the Front Lines

NEW YORK — A gunman shot and killed a pizza parlor employee and two unarmed volunteer police officers who pursued him, then was shot to death by other police officers in a series of shootings in a crowded Manhattan neighborhood Wednesday, the mayor said.

Emergency responders gather around the body of the unidentified gunman in New York's Greenwich Village section Wednesday night.
The bedlam began around 9 p.m., when the gunman went into the pizzeria, asked for a menu and then shot an employee 15 times in the back, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The two auxiliary officers _ civilian volunteers who wear uniforms, are unarmed and help patrol streets _ followed the killer briefly before he turned his gun on them, the mayor said.

"Tonight was a horrible night for the New York Police Department and for our city," he said.

The gunman, who was wearing a fake beard and was carrying a bag full of ammunition, had to cross a street to shoot the auxiliary officers, Bloomberg said. He was killed by regular police officers who rushed to the scene.

The shootouts took place outside a strip of busy restaurants and bars near New York University in a crowded section of Manhattan''s Greenwich Village.

New York police officers enter De Marco's Pizzeria & Restaurant Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Restaurant worker Nikola Simic said he saw police officers swarm toward the middle of the street.

"Then we heard a shooting that was like a good five minutes," Simic said.

Josh Drimmer was inside a bar at the time of the shooting.

"Hearing that many shots in a row," he said, "it was war. It felt like that for a hot second."

Witness Darren McNamara, a tourist from London, said he heard two bursts and thought it was someone shattering the front window of a shop, but it turned out to be gunfire.

Police cordoned off several blocks and escorted area residents to their homes.

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