NEW YORK — Two federal marshals and one New York City police detective were shot today when they went to arrest a suspected child molester in the West Village, authorities said.
The suspect, identified by the authorities as Charles Mozdir, was shot and killed in a gun battle that erupted in a smoke shop in the normally placid neighborhood in Manhattan. The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene, according to Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.
Bratton said that the three law enforcement officers were rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where they are being treated for their injuries.
The detective was shot twice in the torso, one marshal was shot in the buttocks and the other was shot in the shoulder, according to Stephen Davis, a spokesman for the Police Department.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who joined Bratton at a previously scheduled news conference, said that initial reports indicated that the wounds were not life-threatening and that he was praying that those reports were correct.
The three law enforcement officers were trying to execute a warrant near the corner of West Fourth Street and Avenue of the Americas, Bratton said.
The two federal marshals and the detective were part of the federal fugitive task force, which combines the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to apprehend dangerous fugitives and assist in investigations.
In this case, law enforcement officials said, they were serving a warrant on a man wanted for child molestation in San Diego.
Steve Jurman, supervisory deputy marshal in the U.S. Marshals Service San Diego office, identified the suspect as Mozdir.
After the shooting, which happened around 1 p.m., dozens of police officers rushed to the scene, closing off streets as curious residents and onlookers gathered at hastily erected barricades, trying to find out the cause of the commotion.
Dong Hwan, who works at Moon Sheen Tattoo, said he saw a flurry of police activity outside his shop.
“One guy was holding his belly,” he said, noting that the man appeared to be shot. Hwan said that the man emerged from a building, surrounded by police, one of whom with his hands on the man’s stomach.
Cheyenne Whittier, who works at the Pink Pussycat, an erotic shop nearby, said she saw a heavyset man covered in tattoos being wheeled out of the smoke shop on a stretcher. The man was not moving and he appeared dead, she said.