“He’s reaching for it! He’s reaching for it!” a New York City police officer shouted before he was shot dead during a fierce struggle at a Bronx housing project before dawn Sunday.
The last words of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen could be heard on his body camera before Mulkeen was struck in the head, chest and leg as he and a suspect wrestled to the ground, the department said.
It was unclear where the shots that killed the 33-year-old veteran were fired from.
Mulkeen was with two other undercover officers on a unit investigating gang activity when they stopped a suspect for questioning at the Edenwald Houses on East 229th Street around 12:30 a.m., Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at Jacobi Hospital.
The suspect fled and was chased, he said.
He then reaches into his waistband for what the NYPD later said was a .32-caliber revolver, Monahan said the camera footage shows.
That gun wasn't fired, authorities said, adding that Mulkeen's was.
Several other officers shot and killed the unidentified suspect, who Monahan said was on probation for a drug offense and had a burglary conviction out of Rockland County.
“As cops we know how rewarding our profession can be,” the chief told reporters. "But I’ll tell you: There is absolutely no worse moment on our job than this.
"As we stand here this morning, a young man with a bright future who courageously patrolled some of New York City’s toughest streets has tragically lost his life.”
An NYPD veteran of nearly seven years, Mulkeen lived in the Westchester town of Yorktown Heights with his girlfriend, who's also a police officer, and worked in the 44th Precinct, authorities said.
Monahan called him "a great cop" who "just last night arrested a man for possession of a gun in this very same precinct.”
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