Two U.S. Marshals were shot and an NYPD detective injured in a confrontation with a wanted "armed and dangerous" suspect from Massachusetts in a New York City apartment early Friday, police and law enforcement sources say.
Deputies with the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force and NYPD members were in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where they believed they had found the location of Andre Sterling, a man wanted for shooting a Massachusetts state trooper in the hand during a traffic stop last month.
They showed up at the apartment where they had tracked Sterling around 5:30 a.m. and someone opened the door, three senior law enforcement officials said. Sterling then emerged from a room and started shooting, the officials said. No words were spoken, a senior law enforcement official said.
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Five U.S. Marshals returned fire, striking him. Sterling died at the scene, with a senior law enforcement official saying he had been shot more than a dozen times. The senior law enforcement officials said a Glock .9-mm handgun was found under his body; it's not clear if that is the same weapon he allegedly used in the trooper shooting last month.
One senior law enforcement official says the Glock still had five bullets in the clip. It's unclear how many shots Sterling fired in all, but the official tells News 4 the first shot may actually have gone into the barrel of a Marshal's long gun, rendering that weapon useless. The Marshal dropped that weapon and pulled out his side arm to return fire, the senior official says.
A preliminary investigation found more than 20 shell casings at the scene; crime scene experts will sort out the total number of shots fired as well as who fired them, the officials said.
The two shot U.S. Marshals are expected to recover. One was shot in the arm and leg, the other wounded in the leg. The NYPD detective suffered a leg injury while helping one of the wounded Marshals away from the scene, officials said. Video shows the injured Marshals being loaded into NYPD squad cars after the exchange of gunfire.
A 53-year-old man whose apartment Sterling was found in was taken into custody for questioning and will likely be charged in New York federal court with harboring a fugitive, three senior law enforcement officials say. That man was not hurt.
According to one senior official, Marshals and police tracked Sterling to his apartment using electronic communications. Sterling's BMW was found in Connecticut a few days ago, though it's still not clear how he got to the Bronx. Police blocked off a four-block area of the neighborhood, where trees, brick row houses and single-family homes line the streets.
Authorities in Cape Cod, where the state trooper was shot, said 35-year-old Sterling was wanted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, possession of a firearm and assault and battery for the shooting of Trooper John Lennon, NBC Boston reported.
Lennon was shot in his right hand during a traffic stop in Hyannis on Nov. 20. Police say the bullet went through the 28-year-old's hand and struck his bulletproof vest near his shoulder.