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Officer’s Bullets Aimed at Pit Bull Graze Colleagues

Officer’s Bullets Aimed at Pit Bull Graze Colleagues

The AP via YellowBrix

January 06, 2010

NEW YORK – A police officer who was aiming a gun at a pit bull unleashed by a drug suspect Tuesday evening fired a bullet that ricocheted and grazed two colleagues, authorities said.

The incident was touched off as two undercover officers were working on a possible drug deal on a street in the Bronx, police said. The drug suspect and others told the undercover officers the block was hot with police activity and was not good for dealing, police said.

Around that time, three plainclothes narcotics officers who were acting as backup in an unmarked car nearby were noticed by some of the people, who peered into the windows. The officers got out, and the suspect ran.

The three plainclothes officers chased him to a basement apartment, where he opened a door and released a pit bull, which charged the officers, police said.

One of the officers fired a shot, which apparently ricocheted off a wall and struck the two others, police said. Detective Thomas McHale was hit in the left leg, and Detective Thomas Guarino was grazed on the right cheek. They were taken to a hospital, where they were stable with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the officers, who were conscious and talking within an hour of the shooting Tuesday evening.

Eight people were taken into custody for questioning, including the person who unleashed the dog, but no arrests had been made, police said. The suspect was not hit by the bullet.

The dog was hit in the right front paw and was expected to survive.

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