A retired New York Police Department officer died Monday after being shot in the chest during a clash outside a Brooklyn pizzeria, police said.
The 57-year-old officer and a retired correctional officer, also in his 50s, confronted a 33-year-old man who was arguing with an 86-year-old man in Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood, Deputy Chief Joseph Gulotta of Brooklyn South Detective District told reporters Monday evening.
After the argument became physical, the former corrections officer fired a gunshot that hit the former officer in the chest and hit the young man in the arm, Chief Gulotta said.
The retired policeman later died at Maimonides Medical Center, he added, and the young man was in stable condition on Monday evening. Chief Gulotta declined to name the retired policeman until his family was notified. Police also did not identify the other men involved.
The clash, which took place near Church Avenue and East Third Street in an area dotted with restaurants and small shops, was reported to police at around 7 p.m.
Alex Saied, who owns a delicatessen across from where the shooting took place, said he rushed into the street on Monday night after hearing a commotion. The former policeman “was on the ground,” he said. The former prison officer, who also lives in the neighborhood, was holding the 33-year-old man as he bled from his arm, he added.
The dead man was a regular customer who enjoyed chatting about food and baseball, Saied said.
Alan Dubrow, former chairman of the neighborhood community council in Kensington, said the former policeman had been active in local charities and often brought baked goods to police functions.
“It’s unbelievable,” Dubrow said Monday night near the crime scene, as a police helicopter buzzed overhead. “You spend all these years in the force, you retire and you get shot.”