Four cops fatally shot a parolee brandishing a gun during a confrontation on an upper Manhattan street early Sunday, police said.
Three officers and a lieutenant, all in uniform, pulled up on a fight in progress on Nagle Avenue near Dyckman Street in Inwood about 3 a.m., NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said.
They saw a man “with a gun in his hand, fighting the crowd,” Maddrey said.
The cops got out of their unmarked car and repeatedly yelled at the man to drop the gun, according to Maddrey. “At some point, officers discharged their weapons,” he said.
Maddrey would not say what happened in the moments between the cops commanding the man to drop his gun and opening fire, saying the shooting was still under investigation.
The 29-year-old man was mortally wounded in the barrage and died at a nearby hospital. A second man in custody suffered a graze wound, Maddrey said. It is not clear how he got that injury.
“There were a lot of people out here, and we’re going to ask everybody, anybody who was out here who may have saw anything to please call Crime Stoppers,” he said. “This is an active investigation.”
Cops recovered the dead man’s gun and released a photo of it in the hours after the shooting.
Law enforcement sources identified him as Joel Capellan. Public records show he has served two state prison terms, one for attempted robbery, attempted assault and attempted promotion of prison contraband in 2012, the second for attempted sale of a controlled substance in 2019.
Capellan was released to parole in August 2021.
He lived about two blocks from the shooting scene.
“We are devastated,” a relative who declined to give her name told the Daily News Sunday afternoon. ”We still don’t know what happened.”
One nearby resident, Nick, 16, heard the argument from outside his apartment.
“There was two guys and the two girls, and the two guys were fighting,” he said. “They were just going back and forth. One of them swung on the other and later they started to run off. … I heard one of them say. ‘I almost got shot, bro.’ They were yelling back and forth.”
Police had the intersection taped off all through Sunday morning.
”This is crazy, there’s no respect here no more. Everyone has a gun,” said Junior Grullon, 48, who has lived in the are since he was 10. ”No one respects the police. It’s crazy.”
Crowds often gather in the area to hang out at night, he said.
”I’m a father. I got a kid, 7 years old,” he said. “I’m scared to bring my baby outside.”
Another longtime resident, Bob Diamant, 69, said he’s never seen this level of violence in his neighborhood.
″I grew up in the neighborhood. Even 50 years ago it wasn’t shooting like this,” he said. “The whole city was worse 50 years ago but this neighborhood was never this bad.”
Shootings have actually decreased by 44% this year in the 34th Precinct, which covers Inwood, with 18 incidents as of Oct. 9 compared to 32 in the same time period last year. Even so, that number is more than 157% higher than in 2010.
The cops who opened fire are member of the 34th Precinct’s anti-gun Neighborhood Safety Team, which replaced the NYPD’s anti-crime units after they were disbanded by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2020.
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