New York City police said Monday that an officer killed while wrestling with an armed man was fatally struck by gunfire from his fellow officers.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Officer Brian Mulkeen, 33, was hit twice by police bullets during the confrontation early Sunday in the Bronx.
“This is a tragic case of friendly fire,” O’Neill said during a news conference at police headquarters.
Suspect Antonio Williams, 27, was also killed during the burst of gunfire, in which several officers fired shots. The entire exchange took around 10 seconds, O’Neill said.
Police say a .32-caliber revolver belonging to Williams was recovered at the scene. It had not been fired.
Investigators had previously suggested that Williams had wrested the officer’s gun away as the pair struggled on the ground, saying body camera video had recorded Mulkeen saying, “He’s reaching for it!”
But police said Monday that Mulkeen retained control of his gun and fired several shots during the encounter.
Mulkeen’s death is the second time this year that a member of the NYPD has been killed by friendly fire.
Detective Brian Simonsen died in February after being hit once in the chest by crossfire as he and six other officers fired 42 shots at a suspect who charged toward them and mimicked pulling the trigger of a fake handgun.