NYPD Accidentally Shoots into Atlantic Avenue Apartment

Photo: WABC-TV

The NY Daily News reports on yesterday’s NYPD shooting on Atlantic Avenue. Cops were in pursuit of skell-in-waiting driving a stolen vehicle which became wedged between an ice truck and a vehicle being used by the TV show Pan Am which is shooting near Urban Outfitters at at 166 Atlantic.

An NYPD officer fired off a shot, the paper says, when he “pounded its butt on the roof of the stolen car as the driver put it in reverse and tried to mow him down.” The errant bullet entered a nearby apartment, nearly striking a mother and child.

NY Daily News: Schoolteacher Holly Morrison, 31, said she was holding her 4-month-old daughter, Pippa, on her lap in her second-floor Atlantic Ave. apartment when the bullet whizzed through the window.

“I was sitting on the couch with other moms and their babies when a bullet came through the window, above my head,” Morrison told the Daily News.

“He could have killed us,” she said of the cop who let loose the round. “Two feet lower and it would have killed me.”

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  • Master Of Middagh

    That’s it. Take the gun away from him- no question. You wanna be a cowboy and not follow gun safety rules?- Then you don’t belong on the force. His actions were so stupid that this story nearly defies credibility.

  • Eddyenergizer

    There is no way a properly functioning modern firearm can fire a round unless the trigger is actuated. There many automatic safeties built into these weapons that prevent such accidental discharges. If the gun is found to be in good mechanical order, the officer had to have had their finger on the trigger, which is of course a blatant safety violation. If so, the cop needs to be put on desk duty for the rest of his/her career.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Welcome to Brooklyn.

  • Villager

    Let’s see how you react when some scumbag tries to run you over with a car.
    It is absolutely conceivable that his finger slipped off the guard as the car hit him.
    His partner also fired a shot, so the use of deadly force was in play.
    Two-feet lower and it may not have gone through the window but deflected off the bricks.
    The cop should have just pointed his gun into the car and fired is my main criticism.

  • pankymom

    Homer dear, please don’t use the term “skell” when you could say suspect. It makes your reporting cheesy. This individual driving the car hasn’t been convicted of a crime yet.

  • Hicks St Guy

    my father was a lieutenant detective in the nypd, always said a cop should only take his gun out to shoot someone, or don’t take it out at all. this story explains why.

  • RemsenGal

    @Elmer Fudd, I think you meant, “Welcome to Crooklyn.”

  • nabeguy

    pankymom, that’s only because he hasn’t been caught yet.

  • John Laskin

    Can’t get used to that quiet new lifestyle on loooooooongh island? Your two cents are always of the obnoxious kind, stick to what you know, which seems to be very little.

  • Rescue2

    @ Hicks Street guy: You are either a detective or you are a lieutenant. Detective is the same authority as a Police Officer. If you get promoted as a detective you will either be promoted one detective grade or you will be promoted to a sergeant. Sergeants, lieutenants etc are NOT detectives and detectives cant be sergeants or lieutenants. Something is funny here.

  • Master Of Middagh

    Maybe he was a lieutenant who became a detective? Or maybe the classifications changed over time.

    The important thing is that Hicks Street Guy is right, it is wrong to have your weapon drawn without the intention of shooting someone- as it was, this fellow nearly killed somebody unintentionally.

    They did not need to have their weapons drawn at all unless they feared violence on the part of the suspect and, if the suspect truly was dangerous, then it was wrong to attempt the arrest of a potentially violent suspect in such a public place rather than following them to their home or some other more secluded location.

    Bottom line: it’s better to let a crook get away for the time being than to put innocent lives at risk.

    C’MON!!!! He almost shot a baby! There should be no argument here. That should never happen…

  • Hicks St Guy

    @Rescue2, was a Lt., then made Det,, head of homicide in that pct.
    the Master of Middagh knows.

  • Villager

    Your “suspect” rammed the car into a film shoot despite repeated verbal commands to get out of the car and continued to try to drive it out and attempt to run over a police officer.
    Perfectly violent in my book.
    So, let’s say they didn’t draw their guns and fire in an attempt to stop the suspect and he freaks out, drives haywire through the film shoot and takes out 3 people.
    Then you’re in here complaining how the cops aren’t doing enough to stop the crazies.

  • John Wentling

    Glock pistols do not have “many safeties”, they have a single safety that consists of a longer initial trigger pull. I carry a Walther P99 with a similar “safety” mechanism, the first trigger pull is extended or what they refer to as “double action”, the second and subsequent trigger pulls are referred to as “single action” – less trigger travel and lighter than the first squeeze of the trigger.

    I assume he was armed with the Glock, as most officers are, not many these days opt for 6 shot revolvers. I also carry a Smith & Wesson “J” frame revolver – the only way I could experience a negligent discharge in that matter is if I had cocked the hammer prior to slamming the butt on a hard object.

    There is no such thing as an “accidental discharge”, all firearms accidents are the result of user negligence.

  • Villager

    Again, there were 3,200+ pounds of deadly weapon being propelled towards the officer. Very hard to maintain perfect composure under those circumstances. He’s only human. I thought about that with the Glock, too, that it’s trigger pull “safety.” I’ve never fired that type, but it strikes me as minimally “safe,” but I suppose if I was carrying one on duty, that might be just what I would want.

  • Hicks St Guy

    @Villager, are you with the PBA?

  • WillowtownCop

    1. You can be a Det Sgt – a supervisor in the Det Squad. You’re at the same pay scale as a “regular” Sgt, unless you’re a Special Assignment Sgt, and then you get paid as a Lt.

    2. A stolen vehicle is a “felony car stop” – NYPD of all ranks are taught to draw firearms for felony car stops

    3. NYPD guns do not have “safeties,” they just have tight trigger pulls

    4. the gun could not have gone off by banging it on the car- something, finger or otherwise, had to touch the trigger

    5. “innocent” people don’t refuse to stop and try to run over cops who try to stop them- its a crime in itself, whether they knew it was a stolen car or not

    6. please don’t believe what you read in the Post- I don’t know anything about this case, but I have been involved in cases that the post got 180 degrees wrong wrong wrong. let people who know the facts do the investigation before you jump on any type of bandwagon

  • WillowtownCop

    @ john- if it were a 9mm it could have been a smith or a sig sauer, which has the same – 12 pound i believe- trigger pull as the glock, but not the tiny trigger inside the trigger that the glock has, which in my experience with the glock doesn’t do anything at all.

    if it was a 38 it was probably a six shot smith – if fired double action, these have a tighter trigger pull than the 9s, but if fired single action has a hair trigger.

  • Ruh-roh


    This is old news. I was there when it happened. Please read the recent Gristedes Thread,

    Ruh-roh 20. Sep, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Police Shooting

    At Atlantic Ave right outside of “KEYFOOD.”
    Undercover Police Officers tried to pull a suspect out of a car.
    One Officer bangs on the suspects car with his “Gun,” telling the suspect to get the “F@$k out of the car.”

    While banging on the car window, the guns goes off, bullet bounce off and goes flying into a apartment above “Urban Outfitters.”

    Undercover Officers don’t give chase and speed down Atlantic towards the water.

    The car wasn’t “backed in.” The right front of the Ice trunk bumper was hanging off because it hit the movie trailer. The car didn’t reverse into the Undercover Officer.

    No one shot at the car. Like I said in my original post the gun went off because he was banging the gun on the window.

    After the gun went off the cops didn’t give chase. They just stood there like they messed up.

  • John Wentling

    @WillowtownCop: wasn’t aware that the department issued Sigs or S&W pistols these days. Would seem he had a revolver, which was likely cocked, slamming it on the car could or would force a sympathetic finger pull – don’t see that happening with a Glock.

    I know department issued weapons have armory tuned triggers – considerably heavier than those you buy off the shelf. Revolvers don’t require tuning, heavy trigger to begin with in double action, the trick is care when and if cocking it.

    No condemnation here, I wasn’t there, just thankful it didn’t turn out worse. Just hope the City Council doesn’t get any bright ideas on how to improve safety – that usually turns out badly for rank-and-file.

  • Eddyenergizer

    1. John you are confusing single and double actions with single and two stage trigger pulls, they are completely different definitions.
    Single action means the hammer must be cocked before the trigger is pulled to release the hammer. Double action means pulling the trigger will cock the hammer and release it. Single stage trigger means the when squeezing the trigger an continuos resistance is felt until the weapon fires. Two stage triggers have one level of resistance then second harder level before the weapon fires.
    2. A double action will have a hard and long pull because it must cock the hammer. On a revolver this will be every shot, unless the hammer is manually cocked. On a pistol this will only be the first shot as the slide will automatically cock the hammer after each shot.
    3. The Glock has 3 main safeties, as I said they are “automatic” meaning they do not need any manipulation from the shooter other than squeezing the trigger. not to be confused with a “Manual” safety that must be disengaged before the weapon will fire.

    Willowtown, “the tiny trigger inside the trigger that the glock has” is one of the safetys, it must be press

  • Eddyenergizer

    safeties. it must be pressed before the main trigger will fire the weapon, of course this happens at the same time so you might not think it was doing anything.

  • WillowtownCop

    @ Eddy – it’s pretty much impossible to pull the main trigger without pulling it, though. I don’t see how it does much to prevent accidental discharges. Maybe that’s just on Dept issued Glocks, though, with the 12 pound trigger.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Willowtown, That’s the point. When you squeeze the “trigger” your finger automatically first contact the small “safety trigger” which unlocks the main trigger. This helps prevent firing the weapon unless the shooters finger is fully placed on the trigger. It also prevents the weapon from firing if dropped, as the main trigger has more mass it has greater inertia than the small trigger. If the pistol is dropped and hits the the ground on its back, the main trigger will continue to move back because of its inertia, however, the small trigger is much lighter and doesn’t move at the same rate so it locks the main trigger and prevents it from moving back far enough to fire the weapon.


  • John Wentling

    Eddy: I’m all too familiar with those action, own numerous single action revolvers, semi-auto pistols and double action revolvers – so to clarify my remark, when I say “single action” I’m referring to the equivalent effect of the trigger pull, not necessarily the nomenclature. On my Walther, once the “safety” is released (squeezing the trigger past the first stage releasing the safety), the trigger pull is the equivalent of a cocked, single action trigger pull. The trigger pull is so light at that point (about 2.5 lbs.), an ND could easily occur should I bang the butt on a hard object, that is, if my finger were on the trigger.

    I’m not that familiar with Glock, but the Springfield XD has a similar trigger, plus the addition of the 1911 type grip safety. I don’t really care for them, but they’re wildly popular for both duty and off-duty carry.

    Do appreciate your knowledge of firearms though, pardon me for playing fast and loose with terminology.

  • Villager

    Are you John Wentling from ACDL?

  • Eddyenergizer

    John, I mainly wanted to clear any confusion among the “not too familiar with firearms folks” and prevent any misconceptions from brewing… Knowledge + Good practice = Safety

  • Hicks St Guy

    @Willowtown Cop, did you say the Post ignored the facts? I’m sure that never happened before.