Cops shot and killed an armed bandit during a wild gun battle on First Avenue in East Harlem Thursday morning after he and an accomplice tried to rob a neighborhood pharmacy, sources said.
Moments after the drama unfolded at 11:10 a.m., the suspect’s lifeless body lie prone on the ground in front of a BP gas station opposite the Rx Center on First Avenue and East 119th Street, a witness said.
The dead suspect -- who fired at cops as they arrived on the scene -- had a wad of cash sticking out of his pocket and a stocking over his head, sources said.
“I saw the cops shooting at the guy. The guy was shooting back at the cops. He looked like he had a pistol. I saw the guy get killed. There were about 15 cops out here,” said witness Regner Sanchez, 48.
“I heard two or three shots immediately followed by several more,” said John Brecevich, 59, another witness.
“I approached the pharmacy where I had been two minutes earlier to make a copy when I saw a couple of policemen standing in front of the BP over his body on the sidewalk.”
“Part of the back of his head was missing. He had a large head wound and there was tons of blood,” Brecevich added.
Maria Olivares, 46, owner of Mary Natural Juices Corporation, at 2327 1st Avenue, a couple doors down from the pharmacy, said one of the creeps tried to get into her store to escape.
“I saw the suspect with a gun in his hand. He tried running into our store. The cops were right behind him and they started firing. He turned around and fled back down the street,” she said.
In the confusion, cops briefly thought her co-worker was one of the suspects.
“I was scared. It was just me and my co-worker. We ran towards the back. Then we heard a cop screaming ‘He’s down! He’s down!” Olivares said.
Officials are saying three more unidentified people were taken to New York Hospital.
Police have cordoned off the area and are searching for additional suspects.
They recovered a handgun at the scene.
Republished with permission of The New York Post