Report: NYPD Bullet Likely Killed Man In Harlem Shootout (46 Rounds Fired)

(Monday, August 9th, 2010)

Investigators are still trying to sort out the details of a deadly police involved shooting in Harlem over the weekend.

The New York City Police Department says officers responded to an outdoor party on 144th Street and Lenox Avenue around 3 a.m. Sunday after a fight broke out between Luis Soto, 22, and Angel Alvarez, 23.

Police say Alvarez shot Soto and turned the gun on the officers.

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Police then opened fire, shooting 46 rounds.

Soto was hit six times and died from his wounds.

Alvarez was shot 21 times and is in stable condition.

Police sources tell the Associated Press that the fatal bullet, which was removed during an autopsy, is consistent with the those used by members of the NYPD.

While speaking to reporters Monday evening, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the investigation is ongoing, but reiterated the suspects were armed when police arrived.

“We have witnesses that say Luis Soto had a gun in his possession. We have witnesses that say there was a struggle over the gun and one or two shots were fired. We have witnesses that say Angel Alvarez had the gun in his possession,” Kelly said.

A 38-caliber revolver was recovered by police at the scene.

Three bystanders were also shot, but it’s not yet clear if any were hit by police gunfire.

Many people living in the community say the officers responded with too much force. They also say more needs to be done to end violence and get illegal guns off the streets.

“When they address other communities you don’t see these same types of situations happening where there’s 40 plus shots fired at any particular individual,” said one Harlem resident. “So we have to talk about what happens when they approach African-American and Hispanic young men and these type of shots are fired.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city will investigate, but used the incident to highlight the dangers of illegal guns.

“We’ll do our investigation to make sure all the procedures are followed, but let’s not worry about, let’s not forget the first and foremost thing; somebody came with a gun which you only use to kill somebody, somebody got killed, and the police who are putting their lives on the line to protect us, were in the line of fire,” said Bloomberg. “After that, I want to make sure that we’ve followed all the procedures and we will. But the story is, there are too many illegal guns on the street. People wanting to kill other people. And our cops putting their lives on the line so that you and I can go about our business safely.”

Four police officers were injured in the violence, including one officer shot by a fellow department member.

Police say his bullet proof vest saved his life.

As of late Monday, no charges have been filed.

(Source: NY1)

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