NYPD officers shot and wounded a man who they say robbed a Dollar Tree at gunpoint on Thursday afternoon, then turned his gun on cops responding to the scene.
Police said they got a call to a Dollar Tree on Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie after workers there noticed a man who stole cash from the register on Sunday. The suspect allegedly approached the store clerk again on Thursday and attempted to buy something, according to police.
When the clerk opened the cash register, the man pulled out a gun and removed an "undetermined amount of money" before fleeing. Before that point, officers were already en route to the location.
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It was as the suspect was leaving when officers caught up with him, according to the NYPD. The responding officers -- six- and 16-year veterans of the force -- got in some sort of altercation with the man, who pulled out his gun and fired twice.
“They’re actually in a physical struggle, a fight for their lives at that moment with a man who has a gun in his hand and is firing at them," said NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey.
Police shot the alleged robber, 45, in the neck and transported him to Brookdale Hospital in critical, but stable, condition. His identity, and any charges he may face, weren't immediately available.
A gun was recovered at the scene
The officers were also taken to the hospital, but neither had apparent physical injuries, Corey said.
The shooting remains under investigation.
While no one else was injured, one witness expressed concerns for another witness' mother who was in the store at the time of the shooting.
"Just as the officers were discharging their weapon, his mother was in between that. She was involved. She almost got hit," said Jerry Province.