The shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. after New York Police Department officers received a report of a holdup. When they arrived, they spotted an armed man and two other bandits holding the bodega’s manager and the worker down on the floor at gunpoint, police said.
Two of the robbers, after realizing that police had arrived, fled to the back of the store, allowing the victims to break free, police said. The worker ran “full tilt” into an officer positioned just outside the door with his weapon drawn, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
The two “became entangled and a round goes off,” the spokesman said. “We believe it was an accidental discharge.”
The victim was struck once in the shoulder. He was pronounced dead later at the hospital.
One of the suspects immediately surrendered.
The two others remained inside the store during a standoff with officers. One of the two emerged around 5 a.m., claiming to be a victim. Police found the second man tied up inside as part of the ruse, Browne said.
Police recovered a .32-caliber handgun. Also found was a backpack used by the suspects that contained $700 in cash, cigarettes and scratch-off lottery tickets.