********* Story Updated 11:39PM – Friday, August 28th **********
Mount Vernon — Two people were shot in Mount Vernon during an undercover operation involving the NYPD Friday, when an apparent undercover operation in the Bronx bled into Westchester County, police sources said.
Plainclothes officers followed a suspect onto Beekman Ave. in Mt. Vernon, roughly 2 miles outside the city limits, and opened fire.
At approximately 4 p.m. shots rang out on the normally quiet block near the intersection of Beekman Avenue and Pease Street in Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Terrence Raynor said New York City police were conducting an undercover operation that brought them into the city of Mount Vernon.
The undercover detective from the organized crime control bureau’s firearms investigation unit was about to buy at least one gun from their suspect on Beekman Ave. near Tecumseh Ave. at 4 p.m. when the seller pulled his own pistol and tried to rob them, a high-ranking NYPD source said.
“It looks like a straight up robbery of an undercover,” the source said. “Once the undercover is in the process of being robbed, the field team moves in and shots are fired.”
The gun broker and another man were shot repeatedly following a foot chase. Both victims were shot multiple times and taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. Neighbors told BW they heard about 14 shots fired.
No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident, Raynor said. It was not immediately revealed if the officers were fired upon. The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene.
The shootings occurred during an undercover NYPD investigation “when things went awry,” he said. One of the victims was involved in the investigation in some capacity, Raynor said, but it is not yet known if the other victim was involved in the investigation or was an innocent bystander.
We later found out the innocent bystander was n serious condition, neighbors described him to BW as an elderly man.
“During the shooting, Felix Kumi, a 61-year-old man who was standing behind the suspect was struck by at least two rounds,” NYPD chief of department James O’Neill told the media “We understand he’s in serious condition and our hearts and prayers go out to him.”
An NYPD official said this was part of a long-term investigation with regard to purchasing firearms. Undercover officers had purchased numerous guns from the suspect in the past, and the suspect reached out Friday to sell two guns. The undercover agent met the suspect in New York City and wound up in Mount Vernon.
According to NYPD, three people were in the car with the undercover office when one of the people pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer’s head, demanding money. The officer handed over cash, and at some point he fired his weapon at the suspect. Two of the suspects were struck and taken to the hospital. One of the suspects escaped and police are looking for him.
O’Neill said that officers had bought numerous firearms from an individual, and today that individual contacted an undercover NYPD officer about selling him two guns. That officer met the individual today in The Bronx, and they then arranged to travel to Mount Vernon.
While traveling to Mount Vernon, the officer was in a car with the individual and one other man. One of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer’s head.
“The undercover signaled to his back-up team, and engaged the subject who had robbed him,” said O’Neill. “The suspect pointed the gun at the undercover, who then fired at the subject.”
O’Neill said the suspect who attempted to rob the undercover officer was wounded and taken into custody.
Gun shots went through a window of a nearby house, two cars, and Renzo’s auto body shop, reports Lohud.
The investigation is continuing. Stay tuned to BW for more on this developing story!
Additional information and photo provided by BW correspondent Malcolm Clark who was on the scene.