Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Great stuff that strict New York gun control!

Covering his fallen partner, NYPD Officer Erik Hansen steadied his pistol and emptied it at a parolee firing two handguns. "This guy wasn't trying to get away - he was trying to kill both of us," Hansen said. In his first public words since saving his partner's life during a gun battle in an East Harlem housing project, Hansen told the Daily News that he was determined to arrest Tyrell Harris. "It's what we do," said Hansen, a six-year veteran who has more than 380 arrests under his belt. "We're out there looking for guys with guns. Usually, they aren't so blunt about it, walking around with two guns out."

Hansen said he was sitting in an unmarked patrol car with NYPD Sgt. Patrick O'Boyle and Officer David Broadwell when they saw Harris, walking through the Lincoln Houses Wednesday with a gun in each hand. "He wasn't hiding it," Hansen said. O'Boyle, a decorated 10-year veteran, was the first one out of the car, and Hansen, 31, was right behind him. "Police! Stop!" the cops shouted as they chased Harris through the massive project at 2:30 p.m. while Broadwell sped off, hoping to cut Harris off at E. 135th St.

Harris, a 21-year-old ex-con who lived in the project and was on parole for weapons and robbery convictions, raised both guns and started shooting. O'Boyle, 42, was grazed in the scalp, pelvis and leg. When he collapsed, Harris turned toward him and aimed, Hansen said. "Paddy was hit because he was the first out of the car, the first on him," Hansen said. "He was concentrating on Paddy because Paddy wasn't going to let him get away." As Hansen covered his partner - who was lying facedown - he saw blood starting to pool beneath O'Boyle. Hansen fired more than 22 rounds. He emptied his service weapon, fired every shot in his personal weapon, reloaded one of his weapons and emptied it again. Harris got off 13 rounds, police said.

At some point during the shootout, Hansen said he felt a "punch" to his ankle and his leg buckled from a gunshot wound. But he still managed to chase Harris inside 1980 Park Ave. "I chased after him, but lost him around the third floor," Hansen said. "When I couldn't see him, couldn't hear him, I ran back to Paddy."

Harris let himself into his aunt's empty 14th-floor apartment, called his mother, told her what he had done and then jumped out the window. He survived the fall, but died Friday from his injuries, a few hours after O'Boyle was released from Harlem Hospital.

After the shooting, O'Boyle called Hansen from the hospital to thank him for saving his life. "We felt this was a guy who had to be arrested," Hansen said. "He wasn't the type of guy to let go."


Shopkeeper shoots escaping robber: "A discount tobacco store owner shot and critically wounded a would-be robber after he took money from the proprietor at gunpoint Friday night, Fort Wayne police said. The gunman, whose name was withheld, approached the owner at his business, the Smokehouse Tobacco Outlet, 2217 S. Lafayette St., at 7:41 p.m., demanding money, Fort Wayne police spokeswoman Robin Thompson said. The proprietor gave the man cash, then pulled a gun while the would-be robber was walking away from the counter. The proprietor fired several shots, hitting the intruder, Thompson said. The would-be robber, who is in his 20s, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Thompson said. One customer was inside the store and another was outside, Thompson said, but neither was injured. The owner of the store was taken to police headquarters on Creighton Avenue to be interviewed. Prosecutors will decide whether he acted in self-defense or whether his actions warrant criminal charges. No charges had been filed as of late Friday."

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