Saturday, July 16, 1977

Policeman Slain by Partner’s Gun In Scuffle With a Robbery Suspect

A 34-year-old city police officer was fatally shot with a service revolver seized from his partner by a robbery suspect yesterday afternoon as the officers tried to handcuff him in the Inwood section of the upper West Side, the police said.

The unidentified suspect was killed himself a short while later by the police after he commandeered the car of a woman who’s nose was broken during the kidnapping.

Officers Ed Mitchell and Johnny Reed responded to reports of a robbery at the J&L Luncheonette at 3809 10th Avenue, at the corner of West 204th Street. Residents pointed out to them a car in which two suspects allegedly were making a getaway. Officer Mitchell caught one of the suspects and Reed went to his aid when he saw the suspect putting up a struggle. Reed got a headlock on the man who wrapped an arm around the officer’s waist and seized his revolver. The suspect fired three shots, two of which hit Mitchell in the chest and arm. The suspect again ran off and Reed began to pursue in his radio car. Reed, “still carrying his wounded colleague’s service gun” chased the suspect to a nearby supermarket parking lot.

At a supermarket parking lot the suspect forced his way into the car of Nancy Qualter, who’s infant and mother were inside. He struck her, pushed her into the car, and got behind the wheel. Officer Reed and Officer Emmett Breen, who had joined the chase, fired one shot as the car drove off. Less than a block away the pursued car struck another vehicle and when the officers approached they found the suspects lifeless body over the wheel, still holding Mitchell’s gun.

Saxon NYT 7/16/77

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