Categorized | Bronx Neighborhoods, Crime

Melrose residents shaken by police shooting

Bullet hole in the rear window of a car parked in front of King Deli, where the police shooting occurred. Photo: Nick Pandolfo

Bullet hole in the rear window of a car parked in front of King Deli, where the police shooting occurred. Photo: Nick Pandolfo

Melrose residents were shaken by a 4 a.m. shooting in front of King Deli early Saturday morning, when police opened fire on a man who turned out to be an off-duty New York City corrections officer.

“I ain’t going outside today,” said D. Satterwhite, 55, who said she was out walking her dog, when she nearly walked into the line of fire.  “I’m scared.”

Police said plainclothes officers from two Anti-crime units stopped Victor Hernandez, 35, a corrections officer on Riker’s Island, after he was spotted walking along Third Avenue carrying a 9-millimeter gun by his side. Police believe he had just emerged from a nightclub on 161st Street. Hernandez allegedly raised his gun at officers after they asked him to drop his weapon, causing them to open fire, striking him in the left arm, police said.

Hernandez is charged with reckless endangerment and menacing and was taken to Lincoln Hospital where he was listed in stable condition, police said.

It all unfolded in front of King Deli at 3214 Third Avenue, where surveillance cameras captured the whole incident on tape.

Satterwhite said she was heading north on Third Avenue to buy a pack of Newports at the Deli, when her dog Hip-Hop began pulling her in the other direction.

When she looked up, she saw a man raise his gun. At that moment, she ducked into a building entryway, covered her head, and a number of shots rang out.

“If I didn’t pay attention to Hip-Hop, I would have walked into the gun fire,” said Satterwhite, who did not want to give her full name because she feared for her safety.

“Hip-Hop saved my life.”

An employee of the deli, who arrived for work at 6 a.m. said he watched the tapes “over and over.” The tapes showed a man raising his gun at officers and the officers firing back.

“It was the first time I saw real action, It was crazy,” said Willie, 30, who would not give his last name. He added that police set up 36 bullet markers in front of the deli. The actual number of shots fired has not been released.

A stray bullet struck the rear window of a parked Mercedes Benz sports utility vehicle belonging to Bamba Mamadou, 42, a resident of a building just south of the shooting.

Mamadou said he heard the shots, and when he came out in the morning to drive his car to work, the police wouldn’t let him. He took a taxi to his job as a truck driver instead.

Another resident Manuel Gonzales, 60, said he  moved away from his apartment window as soon as heard the shots — and for good reason. He said his cousin was killed five years ago while looking out the window during a shooting.

“When I came back to the window,” Gonzales said, “there was a gang of police crowding around. I was afraid.”

One Response to “Melrose residents shaken by police shooting”

  1. avatar nap327 says:

    Very thorough story with interesting comments from area locals.
    Looking forward to more of your articles, Mr. Pandolfo…


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