Four suspects may have believed they had the element of surprise Thursday when they pulled up to the “Boston Road Auto Mall” in the Bronx – but you never know who’s going to be working behind the cash register.
Today it happened to be an off-duty police officer working at his family’s business.
Detectives told PIX11 News a crew of four rolled up to the auto mall and two stayed in the getaway car, while two others entered the shop at around 6:30pm. They then announced a robbery and told the employees to hit the ground.
But neighbors said from what they heard – the employees didn’t surrender quietly.
“I just heard like loud shouting,” said Steven Cargill. “I tried to mute the TV a little bit…it didn’t really sound like a happy ‘how you doing’ conversation, like ‘Happy New Years.’”
The officer, whose name has not been revealed, fought with one of the suspects, and disarmed him…but not before the guy’s 380-caliber semi-automatic pistol discharged during the struggle, and hit the off-duty cop in the leg.
“I just went to the back room, then . . . we both heard the shot. I didn’t think too much of it until I came outside and saw cops running,” Cargill said.
The officer is being treated for his gunshot wound at Jacobi Medical Center.
Police say three men fled in a getaway car but were caught by the NYPD’s Bronx task force not far away at the intersection of 183st and Katonah. All four suspects now in custody. Charges are pending.