A store clerk was shot and killed after a man grabbed an NYPD officer's gun and opened fire in a bodega — the shooter was then shot and wounded by a second officer, police say.
The deadly police-involved shooting unfolded in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx early Tuesday morning. Shots rang out moments after two officers confronted a man who was in a physical fight with workers inside of a bodega at East 198th Street and Valentine Avenue.
The officers were on patrol shortly after 1 a.m. when a person flagged them down and told them that a man, later identified as 30-year-old Efrain Guzman, was acting erratically at the A & M Deli Grocery, police said. When officers got to the bodega and tried to escort Guzman out, a struggle ensued and he grabbed an officer's gun.
"Guzman made a very fast move and basically ripped the gun out of the officer's holster," an NYPD official said.
Guzman fired multiple times with the officer's gun and police believe one of those shots hit a 49-year-old clerk who worked across the street. The clerk had apparently followed Guzman to A & M Deli Grocery after he got into a dispute with him minutes before at his bodega.
The clerk, Wally Camara, was later pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital. Dennivel Santos knew Camara and called him a "nice hard-working man."
After Guzman started shooting, the second officer was able to return fire and struck him in his upper torso, police said. Guzman was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital and was in stable condition on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a firearm, menacing a police officer and reckless endangerment.
The two officers involved were also taken to St. Barnabas Hospital for evaluation.
Police said video recorded by a person inside of the store corroborates the officers' account of the events.
There was a heavy police presence near the bodega Tuesday morning. Detectives walked past shattered glass outside the store. Police evidence markers lined an adjacent sidewalk.
Two bystanders were injured in the Bronx hours earlier Monday after they were hit by stray bullets near the entrance of a busy subway station, according to police. Surveillance video shows people running for cover as the shooting unfolds.