Kensington

Retired NYPD Officer Killed by Friend's Gun While Trying to Help Elderly Man at Pizzeria

Two retired officers -- one NYPD and one corrections -- showed up at the scene after a pizza shop employee called the first one for help

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A retired NYPD officer died after a retired corrections officer shot him in the chest following an altercation with an alleged drunk who was in the face of an elderly man outside a Brooklyn pizza shop late Monday, police sources told NBC New York.

The fray started when a 33-year-old man, who employees at Korner Pizza said they believed to be drunk, got into a dispute in the pizza shop at the corner of Church Avenue and East Third Street in Kensington, a senior NYPD official with direct knowledge of the investigation said.

One employee made a call to the retired officer, a fixture in the community, about the alleged drunk and the officer showed up with a retired corrections officer.

The two reportedly witnessed the disorderly man arguing with an 86-year-old man and their confrontation spilled out onto the sidewalk across the street, in front of an abandoned drug store, according to the senior NYPD official.

The retired officers tried to break up the scene and at one point there was a struggle over the retired correction officer's gun. At least one gunshot went off and struck the retired NYPD officer in the chest.

Video from the scene showed the allegedly drunk man shirtless, his right arm bloody after he was also hit in the arm by the same bullet.

Both men were taken to a hospital for treatment. The retired officer was pronounced dead at Maimonides Medical Center about two hours after the shooting. The other man was listed in stable condition, police said.

Those in the neighborhood said the two retired officers were friends and both were well known throughout the community. Neighbors also said that the disorderly man was also known in the community -- but he was known as a "troublemaker."

The drunk man was identified later Tuesday as Michael Soto. The Brooklyn resident was arrested and charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault.

An investigation is ongoing.

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