A police officer was shot three times in the Bronx by a man who then barricaded himself inside an apartment, shot himself and was later found dead, police said.
Officer Robert Salerno, a 25-year-old 3-year veteran of the force, is recovering in serious but stable condition thanks to a bullet proof vest, authorities said.
"It likely saved his life," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters.
The gunfire erupted in the hallway of 3073 Park Avenue in Concourse Village, just before 12:30 p.m., cops said. The uniformed officer was shot three times -- he was hit to twice in the abdomen just below his bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit his vest.
The alleged shooter, identified as Santiago Urena, first holed himself in the apartment but police sources said he was later found dead with a weapon three feet from his body. The medical examiner is determining what killed Urena.
Police sources said the original call for the location came over as an assault with a female victim. A home health care worker told police that Urena slapped her in the face. When police responded to the scene, Urena fired off four shots when police opened a bedroom door. Police returned fire, shooting 21 rounds.