A 43-year-old man was fatally shot in the abdomen yesterday in Inwood by an undercover plainclothes detective during a drug bust—and the man's son says it was a tragic misunderstanding. According to police, an unidentified detective tried to arrest a 23-year-old man selling drugs at 26 Post Avenue by Dyckman Street shortly after 5 p.m. Somehow John Collado, Sr., the shooting victim, got involved. NYPD sources tell ABC 7 Collado was part of the drug deal, but his son tells DNAinfo he just happened to be walking by, saw his friend getting assaulted, and tried to help.
"My dad's not a moron," John Collado, Jr., 21, says. "If [the officer] would have identified himself as a cop, my dad would have stopped." Collado reportedly had the officer in a chokehold and during the struggle he was shot. Speaking to NY1, his son said, "He got shot in the stomach, trying to stop an unidentified cop in a scuffle with a civilian, a kid I grew up with, my dad's neighbor. He went to break it up, the cops shot him in the stomach, and he's in trauma. They won't let me know anything that's going on."
Collado was taken to Harlem Hospital and was initially listed in stable condition, but the NY Post reports that he died early this morning. The 23-year-old ran off, but was later spotted on the roof of a nearby building and was arrested when he emerged (he was then taken to New York-Presbyterian Medical Center with a cut on his head). NY1 reports that the detective was also taken to New York-Presbyterian Medical Center (awkward!) with neck and shoulder injuries.
They NYPD maintains that the officer identified himself. And Luz Derne Bermudez, vice president of the 34th Precinct Community Council, didn't witness the shooting, but she doesn't buy his son's story. "I don't believe it," she tells the Daily News. "That area is infested with drugs. We need more police walking up there."