A veteran police officer was shot and killed in the Bronx just after midnight Sunday during a physical struggle with an armed suspect.
The suspect was also shot and killed, police said.
Brian Mulkeen, 33, was a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department. He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died.
“Just after midnight this morning, a brave NYPD officer, doing the job we ask him to do, the job that New Yorkers needed him to do, was shot and killed,” Capt. Terence Monahan, NYPD chief of department, said at an early morning press conference.
Mulkeen and two other officers were investigating gang activity in the area, where several recent shootings had taken place, according to police. While questioning a man, he fled and Mulkeen and other officers chased him down.
Monahan said officer-worn body cam showed the suspect reaching into his waist band for an object while fleeing police.
Mulkeen and the suspect got into a prolonged struggle on the ground with the officer shouting, “He’s reaching for it, he’s reaching for it,” according to audio from the body cam, police said.
“Numerous shots” were fired by five separate police officers and Mulkeen was struck three times, police said. It’s unclear who fired the fatal shots.
“This is a very, very sad day for our city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We lost a hero by every measure. We lost a hero this evening. … This was a young man who made the choice to join the NYPD, to put his life on the line, to protect others.”
“When we met with his family, Commissioner [Benjamin] Tucker, Chief Monahan, a number of us, spent time with his mom and his dad, his sister, his girlfriend and we broke the news to them,” de Blasio continued. “And one of the things they told us, even in their grief, was that Brian made a choice, an incredibly noble choice, to leave a civilian life, a lucrative career. He wanted to protect other people. He loves this city. … He put his life on the line and he gave his life for all of us.”
A .32-caliber revolver belonging to the suspect was also found at the scene.
The suspect has not been named, but police said he was 27 years old and was already on probation for a narcotics arrest from 2018 and had “several prior arrests in various places.”
Mulkeen’s girlfriend is also a police officer in the Bronx, at the 44th Precinct. Mulkeen was a member of the Bronx Borough Anti-Crime Unit in the 47th Precinct.
“As cops, we know how rewarding our profession can be,” Monahan said. “But I’ll tell you, there is absolutely no worse moment on our job than this. As we stand here this morning, a young man with a bright future who courageously patrolled some of New York City’s toughest streets has tragically lost his life.”
Just hours before Mulkeen’s killing, de Blasio had called the Friday shooting death of a Houston police officer “heartbreaking.”
ABC News’ Alex Faul and Wil Cruz contributed to this report.