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Cops shoot panhandler after he stabs officer with screwdriver in subway; teen bystand

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A screwdriver-wielding panhandler stabbed a cop and tried to take another's gun in a Brooklyn subway station Thursday, prompting both officers to shoot, officials said.

 

The suspect was wounded three times and a 16-year-old bystander was grazed in the leg by an errant bullet as mayhem erupted on a Crown Heights platform crowded with rush-hour commuters.

 

"Kids were screaming, 'He's got a gun!' Everyone was running and hysterical," said witness Lee Beckford, 40, of Brooklyn.

 

The violence erupted at 3:40 p.m. when suspect Stephen McKenzie, 32, tried to bum a cigarette off plainclothes cop Tyrone Barrionuevo, part of a team dispatched to the Utica Ave. station to watch for pickpockets.

 

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said McKenzie has a long history of psychiatric problems and lives in a shelter near the station.

 

After aggressively demanding a cigarette, McKenzie started cursing at the 26-year-old Barrionuevo, who has been on the force for 15 months.

 

"Are you a cop?" McKenzie reportedly asked.

 

"Yes, I am," Barrionuevo responded, pulling out his badge, a police source said.

 

Without warning, McKenzie drew a sharpened screwdriver and plunged it into the cop's left shoulder and leg, the source said.

 

McKenzie allegedly attempted to stab Barrionuevo in the chest, but the thrust was blocked by the cop's bulletproof vest, Kelly said.

 

The officer's 27-year-old partner, Alfonso Villacres, raced to help, whacking the 6-foot, 240-pound McKenzie with a baton, Kelly said.

 

McKenzie then turned on Villacres, wrestling him to the platform and trying to grab his gun, sources said. During the tussle, two shots went off before Villacres could break free.

 

"Both officers fired their weapons," Kelly said. A total of five shots were fired in the chaos.

 

McKenzie was hit twice in the chest and once in the hip. He was in serious condition at Kings County Hospital.

 

He's expected to be charged with attempted murder.

 

The innocent teen bystander, Darnell Williams, was treated for a graze wound to his left calf.

 

Barrionuevo was being treated Thursday night at New York Methodist Hospital.

 

"He's shook up," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "He's as well as you can be when you are stabbed."

 

Villacres, who joined the force in 2007, was treated for minor injuries at Methodist and released.

 

"He's fine, that's what's important," said a man who answered the door at the Villacres home and identified himself as the cop's older brother.

 

"I was scared and mom was worried and was crying, but Alfonso called to say he was okay," brother said. The officers are assigned to the NYPD transit bureau's Operation Impact team dispatched to fight crime in Brooklynsubway stations.

 

McKenzie's family confirmed Thursday night that he has waged a life-long battle with schizophrenia, but insisted he's never been violent.

 

"When he takes his medication he's fine," Joy McKenzie, 50, a nurse, said of her brother.

 

Brother-in-law Orlando Severn said McKenzie showed up unexpectedly at his Brooklyn home Wednesday and calmly sat on the front stoop as his niece braided his hair.

 

"There was no sign he was going off," Severn said.

 

BY Alison Gendar, Kerry Burke and Bill Hutchinson

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

May 1st 2009

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Glad to see that the cops are OK.:tup:

 

:tup:

 

Hope all MOS involved recover fully.

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I would have loved to see the cop whacking that mutant with the baton,a guy like that is a hopeless case. One thing is certain is that he will eat better in prison then in the homeless shelter.

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I would understand anyone asking for a cigarette out in the streets but just fighting over it is what got him wrong. Hopefully, he recovers and faces his times.

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I'm glad that the cops are fine after the incident. Based on what I read, their actions are justifiable. Although they wounded a bystander, they shot only for self-defence. If the shots were not fired, the madman could've took the gun from one of them and shot them both.

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Speedy recovery to the MOS involved. A slow and painful recovery to the perp so he can serve time.

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This is the third time an incident such as this one has occured in the last two years. I hope more law enfocement comes around and help Crown Heights be more safe because with this, it's not looking any safer these days.

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This is the third time an incident such as this one has occured in the last two years. I hope more law enfocement comes around and help Crown Heights be more safe because with this, it's not looking any safer these days.

Crown Heights is not the only area with some a problem. Other districts around the city have similar crime issues. They are just not that well shown in the subway.

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Utica Av on the (3)(4)?

 

or

 

Utica Av on the (A)(C)?

 

This is regarding the incident on the (3)(4) subway station.

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