What to Know
NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen died after a struggle with a suspect early Sunday morning
Mulkeen and other officers were on anti-gang patrol at the Edenwald Houses in the Bronx, the NYPD said
During the struggle, Mulkeen's gun went off and he was hit three times, later dying at a local hospital, according to police
What We Know About Brian Mulkeen, NYPD Officer Killed in the Bronx
NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, an almost seven-year veteran of the force, was shot and killed during an arrest in the Bronx early Sunday morning.
Mulkeen, 33, was on patrol at the Edenwald Houses on East 229th Street around 12:30 a.m. when he and two other officers stopped a man for questioning.
The man fled, and during an attempt to stop him, a struggle ensued, the NYPD said. Mulkeen can be heard on a body camera yelling multiple times that the suspect was "reaching for it," according to police. Footage from the camera shows the suspect reaching into his waistband for what was later identified as a .32 caliber revolver, the NYPD said.
Mulkeen was shot three times, getting hit in the head and torso. Authorities said it appears his gun was the one that went off, and that the suspect's gun was not fired during the struggle. The NYPD said it is still unclear who actually fired Mulkeen's weapon.
Five officers then opened fire, hitting and killing the suspect, a 27-year-old man with a record of narcotics and burglary convictions, police said.
Law enforcement sources identified the suspect as Antonio Williams, of Binghamton, New York. Binghamton police arrested him last month on harassment charges, which he pleaded not guilty. It wasn't clear what Williams was doing in New York City.
Mulkeen was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where he later died.
"When we met with his family, Commissioner Tucker and Chief Monahan, a number of us, spent time with his mom and his dad, his sister, his girlfriend and we broke the news to them. And one of the things they told us, even with their grief, was that Brian made a choice, an incredibly noble choice, to leave a civilian life, a lucrative career," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference at the hospital.
"He wanted to protect other people. He loves this city. He wanted to protect other people. He put his life on the line and he gave his life for all of us."
Flags around the city were lowered to half-staff in honor of Mulkeen, de Blasio added.
Mulkeen, who joined the force on January 9, 2013, was assigned to the Bronx Borough Anti-Crime Unit, the NYPD said.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan joined de Blasio and other department officials at the news conference to commemorate "a great cop dedicated to keeping this city safe."
"Tonight is a vivid example of the dangers New York City cops face every day. And, there's never a doubt that our officers will continue to put it all on the line to keep people safe," Monahan added.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement that anyone looking to "blame the cops ... needs to swallow thier rhetoric and look at the facts" as details of the fatal shooting continue to unfold.
"Brian Mulkeen and his fellow police officers worked without a script and faced unknown dangers to protect innocent New Yorkers. As a result, they wound up in a life-or-death fight with an armed career criminal," Lynch said in a statement. "That perp is the one who carried an illegal gun onto our streets. He is the one who chose to fight with the cops. He is solely responsible for our hero brother’s death.”
Mulkeen, a resident of Yorktown Heights, leaves behind a girlfriend who is also an NYPD officer in the Bronx. He started out his career in law enforcement with Tuxedo police in Orange County, according to the department.
"He brought joy, and caring with him when he came. He followed his dream. He will always be one of us, remembered for his courage, his love and his drive. We will never forget, we will always be with you. Rest now," Tuxedo police wrote on Facebook.
The Fordham University graduate recently re-joined his alma mater wher he was a field captain for two years to volunteer as a throwing coach. The school says he earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Atlantic 10 Indoor Track & Field Championship in the weight throw and he helped the Rams win the 2008 Metropolitan Outdoor Track & Field Championship for the first time in program history.
"[Mulkeen] is the embodiment of bravery and a true New York hero. On behalf of the New York family, I extend my deepest sympathies to Officer Mulkeen's family and loved ones during this excruciatingly painful period and I ask all New Yorkers to keep them in their prayers," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.