The NYPD says it all began just before 6 a.m., when officers along with U.S. Marshals arrived at 15 Destiny Court in Mariners Harbor to execute an arrest warrant for a man identified as Garland Tyree on a probation violaton.
"A couple of loud bangs, probably, and then as I was getting ready to head to work, I come in, I see firetrucks in the court, which is a rare occasion. I see police in full gear with guns drawn," said neighbor Andrew Jones.
Police say Tyree, 38, was confronted and retreated inside the basement apartment of a two-story home.
According to authorities, Tyree detonated a smoke grenade. Firefighters arrived, and Lieutenant James Hayes led a search and rescue, crawling on the floor and speaking with Tyree.
Seconds later, police say Tyree fired four shots, hitting the 53-year-old Hayes in the ankle and hip. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center in stable condition.
"Miraculously, the lieutenant is in stable condition and these wounds are not life-threatening," said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "So he has been admitted here to the hospital. His family is with him. He is as comfortable as you can be after being shot twice, and I felt strange saying to him, 'You're lucky.' We don't usually tell someone who was shot that they're lucky, but he is lucky that he will survive this incident," Nigro said.
For six hours, negotiators urged Tyree to surrender.
Lieutenant Jack Cambria said Tyree asked to speak to multiple family members and said he would surrender when his mother was brought to the scene.
Police Commissioner William Bratton says the NYPD sent a helicopter to Delaware to fly the suspect's mother to Staten Island.
After the suspect and the mother had a brief conversation, NYPD Chief of Special Operations Division Harry J. Wedin said Tyree fired shots through a window.
Police say Tyree then emerged in a bulletproof vest, promising to surrender, but instead, he fired shots that struck police cruisers and civilian cars.
Wedlin says officers returned fire and Tyree retreated into the building. Once they went inside to check on his condition, they found his body.
"This was a very challenging day for our first responders – for our police officers, for our firefighters, for our EMTs - but it's a day when they all handled their jobs in exemplary fashion," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "There's a lot to be proud of today in the way our first responders handled something you just can't be fully prepared for."
Police say Tyree had 18 prior arrests and was wanted on a federal probation warrant.
Investigators uncovered a cache of weapons inside Tyree's apartment, including an AK-47, plus several rounds of ammunition.
On his Facebook page Friday, Tyree posted, "Today I die"
In addition to a long criminal history of violence, weapons possession and drug sales, the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District said Tyree was alleged to have been a high-ranking member of the Bloods gang.
"He has some writings describing his life in the Blood gang members," said Robert Boyce, chief of detectives for the NYPD.
Hayes, a Staten Island resident, is a 31-year veteran of the department who made rescues during the September 11th attacks.
This is the first time in 21 years that a member of the FDNY has been shot in the line of duty.
"These things do not occur very often," Nigro said. "So we are at once troubled by the incident but happy that the outcome will be that he will rejoin his family."