A man who tried to stop his girlfriend's unhinged ex-boyfriend from stabbing her and her kids in her Midwood apartment Monday night died from an NYPD gunshot wound, according to the NYC Medical Examiner. An autopsy has determined that Rafael Laureano, 51, died from a "perforating gunshot wound of [the] back." The Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide, but, in a statement, added this caveat:

The manner of death in this case means that death resulted in whole or in part from the actions of another person or persons and not from natural causes such as disease. The classification does not imply any statement about intent or culpability, and as with all classifications made by OCME, the evaluation of the legal implications of this classification is a function of the District Attorney and the criminal justice system.

Initial reports said that Laureano was bleeding from stab wounds when officers responded to the bloody scene, but sources now say Laureano had no stab wounds. According to the official NYPD statement, Laureano "also entered the apartment," as officers arrived at the scene to confront Francisco Carvajal, who was allegedly brandishing a knife.

Police say Carvajal refused multiple orders to drop the knife, and "police discharged their firearms striking the armed individual." Carvajal was pronounced dead at the scene, while Laureano was transported to Maimonides Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA. Three officers fired more than a dozen shots, the Times reports.

According to NBC New York, the medical examiner "said that the suspect [Carvajal] had four entry and exit wounds from bullets, so it is possible that one of the bullets that hit the suspect was the one that hit Laureano in the back as well."

Kataryzna “Kathy” Russo and her two children, ages 6 and 7, were hiding in the bathroom and emerged unscathed. Russo says Carvajal showed up at her door saying he just wanted to talk, but when she opened up, he burst in with the knives. She managed to fend Carvajal off, grabbing one of the knives and stabbing him with it, then barricading herself and her children in the bathroom. More details, from the NY Post:

“He (was) stabbing the door,” the still-shaken mom said. “But the bathroom lock is broken, so while he is stabbing I have to hold it closed.”

Russo’s current boyfriend, gym owner Rafael Laureano, fought with the heavily muscled and tattooed Carvajal when he arrived at the 820 Ocean Parkway apartment. But he quickly retreated to the hallway, where he called 911.

Laureano, 51, rushed back inside and attacked Carvajal when cops arrived and broke down the door around 7:20 p.m. Carvajal was still wielding a knife and refused repeated orders to drop it, according to the NYPD.

One of Russo's neighbors tells the tabloid that when it was all over, “I open the door and saw the woman covered in blood coming out of her apartment. She had no shoes on and blood all over her.”