An undercover gun buying sting involving NYPD cops and suspects went wrong Friday night. Police say a team from the organized firearms bureau had been running an ongoing operation involving undercover buying of illegal guns. A suspect then held a gun to an undercover officer's head. The officer signaled to backup, opened fire, striking one suspect and an innocent bystander who died later in a local hospital.
That suspect was struck and fled, but was soon caught and arrested.
The innocent bystander who was shot was a 63-year-old man named Felix Kumi. Because he was standing behind one of the suspects, he was hit at least twice. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital where he later died.
Police later recovered the gun the suspect pointed and held at the head of the undercover officer and determined it was a replica they say looked strikingly similar to a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.
The multiple rounds that were fired alarmed many on this residential street.
In a statement NYPD commissioner William Braton expressed his "profound sorrow and sympathy" to Kumi's family.
"Mr. Kumi was blameless, and this tragedy has tested and tried his family," Bratton said. "I pray that they may find comfort in their hope of resurrection and awakening, and I tender the Department’s support and service in their grief."
The wounded suspect was transported to the hospital in serious condition, where he remains in police custody. The other suspect who initially fled the scene has been arrested and identified as 28-year-old Jeffrey Aristy of the Bronx.