Police responding to a 911 burglary call in Maspeth, Queens on Monday afternoon shot an alleged burglar in the groin inside a residential building, according to the NYPD. The 38-year-old burglar, identified as one Felix Perez, fled on foot and was arrested about a block from the scene in a neighbor's back yard.
While the arrest was underway, cops say they discovered a 36-year-old woman lying in a nearby driveway with a head laceration. The driveway was less than a block from 55-38 66th Street, where the alleged burglary took place, but the NYPD says the two incidents were unrelated. Initial reports suggested that this woman was injured as a result of the police encounter, and there was speculation that police had shot the woman, prompting NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald to tweet, "This is completely inaccurate. No one is dead."
Addressing reporters near the scene on Monday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that two cops from the 104th Precinct responded to a robbery call at 55-38 66th Street, near the corner of Hull Avenue, at 1:30 p.m. The caller, a woman who lived on the building's first floor, told police she'd glimpsed a robber in her child's bedroom, over live video stream. (A security camera in the room sent surveillance video to her cellphone.)
The woman's dog was apparently inside the apartment. "She was afraid for her dog the entire time," Boyce told reporters.
Video taken from an apartment across the street, and shared with Gothamist by a tipster, shows the woman approaching the front door to her building, which is ajar. She enters through the front door, and exits moments later with her small dog in her arms. A gun shot rings out from inside the building, followed by a scream. A person runs out of the building, and uniformed police follow.
According to police, one officer encountered Perez in the apartment's back room. A "struggle" ensued, and the officer fired one round, striking Perez in the groin. Boyce told the press that Perez ran out of a room and assaulted one of the officers before the shot rang out. "This was a close quarters encounter," he said.
Perez fled after he was shot, and was arrested nearby. The NYPD described his record of prior burglaries as "extensive."
Perez was taken to Booth Memorial Hospital, where his condition has been listed as stable. The 36-year-old woman discovered in a nearby driveway was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where doctors removed what appears to have been a short piece of wire cable from her scalp. DNAinfo reports that there were several pieces of wire in the driveway, and that cops believe the woman may have fallen, injuring herself.
The officers did not sustain injuries.
Police said Monday that they are interviewing the woman to try to determine how she was injured. An investigation into the alleged robbery attempt is ongoing.