In about as horrific a sequence of unfortunate events as you can imagine, a Bronx bodega worker was fleeing the scene of an armed robbery yesterday when he ran smack into a New York City police officer—who shot and killed him.
The NYPD is calling it a tragic accident, as video shows the uniformed officer, a patrolman responding to a 911 call, standing outside the bodega with his gun drawn, according to the Associated Press. The store manager rushes out the door, followed by employee Renaldo Cuevas, who runs full speed into the officer, sending both of them tumbling to the ground.
The impact of the collision apparently caused the officer to fire the gun, hitting Cuevas in the left shoulder, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who aired the video at a news conference.
Cuevas later died from the gunshot. Three men were arrested from the robbery, two of them after a three-hour standoff with police.
Kelly said there was no sign that the officer mishandled the situation—though he was still put on desk duty pending an investigation, which is standard NYPD procedure after shootings.
“The tragedy here of course was that Mr. Cuevas was shot, but I see nothing wrong with the procedure,” he said.
Added Kelly: “We want to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Cuevas for their loss.”
The NYPD was alerted about the robbery from a 2 a.m. 911 call made by a passerby. When officers arrived, they looked through a window and saw the shop’s manager and Cuevas being held hostage at gunpoint, police said.