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Police: Death of NYPD officer killed in the Bronx was ‘a tragic case of friendly fire’

BRONX, N.Y. –Police say the fatal shooting of a New York Police Department officer was the result of friendly fire.

“This is a tragic case of friendly fire, but make no mistake, we lost a 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,” New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday, Sept. 30.

Brian Mulkeen, a 33-year-old member of The Bronx Anti-Crime Unit, was investigating gang activity, including recent shootings, with two other officers at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, NYPD said.

The officers got out of their vehicle to question a man, who then fled, and the officers gave chase. As the officers tried to apprehend the man, a violent struggle on the ground began, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan previously announced.

In video from a body-worn camera, Mulkeen could be heard yelling, “He’s reaching for it! He’s reaching for it!” Monahan said.

Mulkeen’s partners fired 10 rounds, two of which struck officer Mulkeen, O’Neill said. Police previously said Mulkeen was hit three times.

Mulkeen fired five rounds at the man, O’Neill added. The 27-year-old was shot and killed. He was on probation for a narcotics-related arrest in 2018, and had several prior arrests, including a burglary in Rockland County, Monahan said. Police said a firearm believed to belong to him was recovered at the scene and was not fired during the incident.

Mulkeen served on the NYPD for over six and a half years and lived in Yorktown Heights with his girlfriend, who is also an NYPD officer.

Mulkeen graduated from Fordham in 2008 and was a two-year field captain for the track and field team, competing in weight throw and hammer throw, the university said.

Second friendly-fire death this year for NYPD

Mulkeen is the second NYPD officer to be shot and killed on the street in 2019. In February, an NYPD detective was fatally shot in a friendly fire incident as police responded to a reported robbery in Queens. The suspect had a replica handgun, police said.

In addition, nine NYPD officers have died by suicide this year, a cluster that has rattled the department.

Sunday’s killing came more than a day after a gunman shot dead Texas Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, an observant Sikh who gained national attention years ago when he got permission to wear a turban as part of his Harris County Sheriff’s Office uniform.

Dhaliwal had stopped a man for a traffic violation and was walking back to his patrol car Friday afternoon when he was shot twice, including at least once in the back of the head, authorities said.

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