New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) said it is looking into a recording in which an officer was heard calling a gang member an “-sshole” as the would-be cop-killer was dying following a gunfight with police.
The comment was made as the unnamed officer was watching aerial footage of the incident, the New York Post reported.
“Boom,” the officer said at one point. “There’s one less -sshole to sue us.”
The officer was recording the footage from a screen when he made the comments, a source told the New York Post.
The video later began circulating around the department, according to the source.
“The NYPD is aware of the video and it is under review,” an NYPD spokesperson told the paper.
The suspect, 29-year-old Bloods gang member Brandon Clayton, was fatally shot by police after he opened fire on an occupied patrol car and sparked two separate shootouts with officers.
Clayton was also wanted for a parole violation for a prior gun conviction at the time of the attack, the New York Daily News reported.
The incident began at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Monday, after uniformed New York Police officers out on patrol spotted a man wearing a mask in the area of Dumont Avenue and Howard Avenue, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said during an early morning press conference, according to the New York Post.
“When the officers who were inside their patrol car attempted to speak to the man, he immediately fled toward 788 Howard Avenue,” Chief Monahan told reporters.
One of the officers began chasing him on foot, while two other officers pursued him in their patrol car.
“The perpetrator fired numerous rounds at their vehicle, striking it,” Chief Monahan said. “The officer who exited the car then exchanged gunfire with the male. However, the perpetrator fled from the officers.”
Approximately a half hour later, a resident called police to report that someone was trying to break into the back yard of a home on Howard Avenue, the New York Post reported.
As six officers arrived at the scene and entered the yard, they were ambushed and pinned down by the gunman’s bullets.
The NYPD Emergency Service Unit and other additional officers also forced their way into the yard to stop the active shooter.
“Our officers returned fire and the man was then taken into custody,” Chief Monahan said, according to the New York Post.
Police recovered his semi-automatic handgun at the scene.
Clayton was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
None of the officers were injured during the exchange of gunfire, WCBS reported.
Chief Monahan said that investigators are working two separate crime scenes.
Seven officers returned fire during the encounters.
“We’re still counting his shell casings to see how many he fired but he fired both on Howard Avenue and in the back yard,” he said, according to the New York Post. “Approximately nine rounds were fired by our officers on Howard Avenue. It’s still an approximation, but in the back yard it looks like we fired 55 rounds.”
“There were a lot of rounds fired,” the chief acknowledged.
He praised the officers for swiftly reacting to and terminating the threat, the New York Post reported.
“The great work by our cops today demonstrates, once again, how they never hesitate to go into harm’s way to keep our city safe,” Chief Monahan said.