The NYPD said an officer shot during a struggle with an armed man in Manhattan early Wednesday morning was injured by the suspect, not police gunfire.
Refuting reports that Officer Christopher Wintermute appeared to have been struck by officers, police officials said Thursday afternoon that tests confirmed the bullet lodged in Wintermute's ballistic vest came from the suspect's gun.
Two police officers were killed by police gunfire earlier this year, including NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen in a violent struggle with an armed man in the Bronx in September.
Wednesday's shooting happened around 2 a.m. inside an apartment building on Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 147th Street in Harlem. Police said they encountered a naked man holding a .9mm semi-automatic firearm in the building after they responded to a 911 call.
Police said 29-year-old Victor Hernandez, the building super, stood in the hallway pointing a gun in a firing stance and fired a shot at Wintermute as he came around a corner. Wintermute was struck in the left side of his vest, according to police.
Hernandez then dropped the gun and started to fight with him on the floor, according to investigators.
As they fought, sources told NY1, Wintermute told approaching officers to shoot because he didn't want Hernandez to shoot him again.
Two other officers shot the suspect, police said. Hernandez, whom police said was shot 10 times, was pronounced dead at a local hospital. It was not confirmed which officer killed the suspect. Seventeen shots in total were fired at the scene, police said.
Wintermute, a seven-year veteran of the NYPD, was released from the hospital Wednesday after he was treated for minor injuries.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the eight officers from the 32nd Precinct were responding to a complaint from a woman resident that a man was harassing her, banging on doors, and breaking glass on the building's second floor.
Hernandez had six prior arrests for domestic violence, the latest in 2014. Police said the toxicology report was pending.
The shooting was captured on officers' body cameras, but the NYPD said Wintermute's camera was damaged and the department cannot review his footage. The investigation was ongoing.
This was the fourth shooting involving the NYPD within eight days. Last Thursday, police fatally shot a man in the Norwood section of the Bronx after he hit an officer with a car, according to investigators.
Eight days before that shooting, police fatally shot an armed man in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Officials said two plainclothes officers were on patrol at the Gowanus Houses when they came across a shooting in progress.
About four hours later, police shot an armed man in the shoulder at the East 225th White Plains subway station in the Bronx. That man was hospitalized and survived.
No police officers were hurt in the previous three shootings.