Bystander Shot in Undercover Police Probe in Mount Vernon Dies

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 shot by NYPD in Mount Vernon in undercover gun buy: police.

Instead of a quick gun purchase by an undercover NYPD cop, the cop had a gun put to his head, forcing him to unleash a round of gunfire that critically wounded a suspect and seriously injured a bystander caught in the wrong place.An undercover New York Police Department officer shot two people, including a bystander, during a continuing investigation into illegal guns that led them to Mt.A bystander was shot and seriously wounded by an NYPD cop in Westchester Friday afternoon when a suspect the officer was buying illegal guns from tried to rob him at gunpoint and the undercover cop opened fire, also wounding the alleged gun dealer, law enforcement sources said.

Friday on an otherwise serene residential block in Mount Vernon when the cop, sitting in a car with his mark, was about to fork over $2,200 for a pair of guns, officials said. The undercover handed over the $2,400 he brought to buy two semi-automatic handguns, then pulled out his own weapon and fired 11 rounds at the would-be robber, 37-year-old Alvin Smothers – hitting him in the arm and shoulder about 4 p.m. One undercover officer was posing as the gun buyer in plain clothes as he met up with the alleged seller in the Bronx and had driven to Mount Vernon at the seller’s instruction, police said. Authorities on Friday said two people total were shot during the undercover police investigation, including bystander Felix Kumi and a 37-year-old suspect.

Just then, the would-be seller, Jeffery Aristy, was joined by an accomplice, Alvin Smothers, 37, who jumped into the back seat with a pistol in hand in the Westchester County city— roughly two miles north of the city line — according to an NYPD source. Detective Michael DeBonis, a spokesman for the department, said the gun dealer was the subject of a “long-term firearms investigation.” The police said that undercover officers in the past had purchased numerous firearms from him. Felix Kumi, 61, who lives nearby on Bedford Avenue and didn’t appear to be involved in the robbery or gun sale, was shot in the chest and arm, sources said. “During the shooting a bystander who was standing behind the suspect, was also struck by at least two rounds,” said NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill.

Smothers pointed the pistol — later discovered to be a fake — at the head of the officer, a member of the NYPD Firearms Investigation Unit, setting the cop into action, but also putting the bystander, 61-year-old Felix Kumi, into harm’s way. The officer parked his vehicle in the vicinity of Beekman Avenue and Tecumseh Avenue when a second suspect got into the backseat then pointed what police say was a BB gun at the officer’s head while demanding money. The officer turned over the money to the man with the gun and, after signaling to his backup team, exited the vehicle to attempt to stop him, the NYPD said. Surgeons operated on him Friday night, police sources said. “There was a rapid succession of gunfire, ‘Pop pop pop,’ and then there was a pause for three or four seconds and then the shots resume again and then another minute or two later and the helicopter was up and there was cars swarming all of this area,” said witness Joseph Camara, 52. “Swat cars, Police cars, sirens everything else.

I was thinking something must’ve gone wrong, there’s a shooting, my first thought [was] it’s a drug related thing it’s not the best of areas.” “The undercover business is perpetually dangerous. A witness who would not give his name for fear of reprisals said he saw the bystander being taken into an ambulance with a large bandage wrapped around his head. An employee of a nearby business, Renzo Auto Body, said gunfire had come through its windows as well. “Things went awry, and shots were fired,” Commissioner Raynor said.

The commissioner said it was “a relatively quiet residential area where this incident occurred, not known for violence of any sort.” “It was a ton of shots,” he said. “Bap, bap, bap, bap, bap, bap! I couldn’t count how many shots because it was such rapid fire.” A woman who lives near the shooting scene said she was inside her home with the windows open when she heard between 10 and 12 gunshots.

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