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NYPD officer dies after being shot in face

Seth Wenig / AP

Residents, police officers stand Monday near a crime scene where an officer was shot in the Cypress Hills section of the Brooklyn borough of New York on Monday.

 

A 22-year NYPD veteran responding to a break-in died hours after being shot in the face by a "career criminal" wielding an illegal semi-automatic weapon, police and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

Peter Figoski, 47, died at Jamaica Medical Center following the shooting in Brooklyn at around 2:15 a.m., authorities said. 

Figoski and another officer, Glen Estrada, responded as backup to a 911 call about a robbery in progress at a basement apartment in East New York.

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The first two responding officers headed to interview the 25-year-old tenant, whom they found lying on the floor with a head injury inflicted by one of the suspects who tried to rob him, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Unbenownst to police, the two suspects, having been unable to escape out the back door, crouched in wait in a side room near the apartment unit, Kelly said. Once the first two officers walked by them, the suspects made their way to the front door, the police commissioner said.

AP

This undated photo provided by the New York City Police Dept. shows Officer Peter Figoski, who was shot and killed early Monday.

Figoski, who was part of the backup team, was at the bottom of the stairs leading from the street to the basement apartment door when he was shot at close range by one of two assailants, Kelly said.

"His partner, Glen Estrada, was already struggling on the street level in front of the house with the second suspect when he heard the shot and observed the gunman run by him," Kelly said. "He released the man he was struggling with and pursued the gunman, capturing him after a pursuit of several blocks."

Estrada was treated at the hospital for a shoulder sprain that he suffered in his confrontations with both suspects.

Police say the shooter, identified as Lamont Pride, of Coney Island, is in custody. Kelly said Pride, 27, has five unsealed prior arrests, including arrests for drug possession and sale. He is wanted for aggravated assault in North Carolina, Kelly said.

The second suspect remains at large. He's described as about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 25 to 30 years old. He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and light pants.

A semi-automatic pistol was recovered under a parked car near the scene. Police say only one shot was fired, but the gun appeared to have jammed with 10 live rounds still in the magazine. A ski mask was also found at the scene.

The tenant told police the two suspects banged on his door and initially said they were police officers. Once inside, they demanded money and jewelry, authorities said. They were both wearing ski masks, the tenant told police.

The suspects then knocked him down and one of the men struck him in the head with a firearm, Kelly said. The robbery victim said the suspects stole an inexpensive watch and $70 in cash before fleeing, Kelly said. He was being treated for head injuries at a nearby hospital.

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