A New York police officer was killed by friendly fire when he wrestled with a suspect in the Bronx, police say

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Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

  • New York Police Officer Brian Mulkeen, who died in an exchange of gunfire on Sunday in the Bronx, was killed “tragic case of friendly fire,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said during a news conference.
  • Mulkeen, 33, was shot twice by fellow officers, who accompanied him when approaching a suspect on probation, Antonio Lavance Williams, for questioning regarding a recent slew of shootings in the city.
  • Williams attempted to flee the officers, causing Mulkeen to wrestled the suspect to the ground, who was armed with a loaded, .32-caliber gun. Body cam footage captured Mulkeen repeating, “He’s reaching for it,” referring to the weapon, before the other officers discharged their weapons at both Mulkeen and Williams.
  • “Make no mistake – we lost the life of a courageous public servant solely due to a violent criminal who put the lives of the police, and all the people we serve, in jeopardy,” O’Neill said.
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New York Police officer, who died in an exchange of gunfire on Sunday in the Bronx, was killed in “tragic case of friendly fire,” police said Monday.

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said during a press conference Monday that Officer Brian Mulkeen, 33, was shot twice by fellow officers in an anti-crime unit, who accompanied him when approaching a suspect on probation, Antonio Lavance Williams, for questioning regarding a slew of shootings in the city, The New York Times reported.

“This is an absolute tragedy that was caused by a convicted felon carrying an illegal, loaded firearm,” O’Neill said during the press conference.

Williams attempted to flee the officers, causing Mulkeen to wrestle the suspect to the ground, who was armed with a loaded, .32-caliber gun, according to The Times. Body cam footage captured Mulkeen repeating, “He’s reaching for it,” referring to the weapon before the other officers discharged their weapons at both Mulkeen and Williams.

An investigation of the incident revealed that Mulkeen’s firearm had been fired five times, and Williams’s gun had not been fired. Williams was pronounced dead at the scene, and Mulkeen was rushed to the hospital, where he died shortly after the incident.

Read more: New York city cop, suspect killed in exchange of gunfire

Mulkeen’s death is the second death of an NYPD officer by friendly fire reported this year, preceded by the death of Detective Brian Simonsen who was killed when confronting a robbery suspect in Queens.

“Make no mistake – we lost the life of a courageous public servant solely due to a violent criminal who put the lives of the police, and all the people we serve, in jeopardy,” O’Neill said.

Videos posted to social media showed police officers, first responders, and players from the New York Rangers paying their respect to the fallen officer as his remains were transported to a funeral home in Westchester, New York.