N.Y. police shoot, kill worker fleeing robbery

Posted: September 08, 2012

NEW YORK - A city police officer shot and killed a bodega worker who plowed into the patrolman on a sidewalk while frantically fleeing an armed robbery early Friday - a sudden encounter that the New York Police Department called a tragic accident.

Dramatic security video shows the uniformed officer, his gun drawn, positioned outside the Bronx shop's front door moments after a 911 call. In a flash, the store manager rushes out the door. Closely behind with his head down is Renaldo Cuevas, who runs full speed into the officer, sending both men tumbling to the sidewalk.

The impact apparently caused the officer to fire one round his semiautomatic weapon, striking the 20-year-old Cuevas in the left shoulder, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference where he aired the grainy video.

Cuevas died later at the hospital. Police arrested three men, two of them after a tense, three-hour standoff.

Though Cuevas' death appeared to be an accident, the officer was placed on desk duty pending an investigation - a routine practice for all NYPD shootings. Officials refused to release the name of the seven-year veteran of the force.

There was no sign that the shooter and other officers at the scene mishandled the situation, Kelly said.

"The tragedy here of course was that Mr. Cuevas was shot, but I see nothing wrong with the procedure," he said.

Added Kelly: "We want to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Cuevas for their loss."

The shooting occurred after a passerby called police at about 2 a.m. to report the holdup. When officers arrived, they looked through a window and saw the shop's manager and Cuevas being held hostage at gunpoint, police said.

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