NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two U.S. marshals and a New York police detective were wounded and a fugitive wanted on sex abuse charges was killed in a shootout in the city’s upscale Greenwich Village neighborhood on Monday, authorities said.
The detectives tracked 32-year-old Charles Mozdir, who was recently featured on a TV show about fugitives, to the Smoking Culture smoke shop where he worked and attempted to arrest him on child molestation charges filed in the San Diego, California, area, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told a news conference.
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Mozdir opened fire in the tiny store. The three officers were injured and Mozdir was killed. Police recovered a .32 caliber handgun from the scene and 20 additional bullets from Mozdir’s pockets, Bratton said.
Mozdir was recently on CNN’s “The Hunt” reality television show with former “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, which sets out to catch fugitives, said U.S. Marshals spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue.
The U.S. Marshals Service worked on “The Hunt” in Mozdir’s case, Donahue said.
The wounded law enforcement agents were hospitalized and in stable condition Monday evening, Bratton said. One was wounded below his bullet proof vest, one was injured on the elbow, and the last suffered a wound to his buttocks.
Bratton said that a bullet-proof vest worn by one of the detectives caught a slug before it could penetrate his body, saving his life. He did not provide identities for the agents, pending notification of family members.
Greenwich Village, a wealthy neighborhood called home by celebrities and students attending New York University, rarely experiences violent crime. No shootings had been reported in the neighborhood this year, as of last Sunday, according to police statistics.
Bratton declined to provide any specific information on the case against Mozdir, how he was tracked, or more details on the firefight, citing the ongoing investigation by the NYPD and the U.S. Marshals Service.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney and Curtis Skinner; Editing by Eric Walsh)