A 2-mile police chase from Westchester County to the Bronx ended Tuesday with Mount Vernon cops squeezing off more than 30 shots, blowing out a car’s rear windshield and wounding an unarmed woman inside.
The woman was blasted once in the shoulder and listed in stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center after the 9 a.m. shooting. The man who was driving the black Chevrolet Malibu was not hurt.
Authorities say cops opened fire when the driver intentionally rammed a police car after speeding from a blockade and slamming into a railing at a Gulf gas station on E. 234th St. in Wakefield in the Bronx. The unidentified driver was arrested. Charges were pending late Tuesday.
No gun was found in the vehicle.
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The drama began when Mount Vernon police stopped the car at Fulton Ave. and Fourth St. for having excessively tinted windows. As officers got out of their squad car, the driver peeled out and clipped a Mount Vernon lieutenant at the scene, leaving him with minor injuries.
Sources said Mount Vernon police have had prior run-ins with the suspect, who was known to have guns and drugs in the vehicle.
The Mount Vernon cops chased the Malibu into the Bronx, and they set up a blockade on Bronx Blvd. between E. 233rd St. and E. 234th St.
The driver abruptly made a U-turn, changing direction from northbound to southbound on the two-way street. Within seconds, according to police, he drove into the gas station and hit a squad car in an attempt to flee the scene.
At least three Mount Vernon cops fired. NYPD officials said city cops were not involved in the chase or the shooting.
Witnesses were terrified.
“I was about to put gas in my truck when I heard 20 something bullets flying through the air,” said Gerson Diaz, who is in his 50s. “I was just trying to dodge the bullets. I was trying to hide, to take cover by a pump, another car. . . anything.”
Five Mount Vernon cops suffered injuries during the confrontation, which began in the suburb about 12 blocks from the Bronx.
During the shooting, flying glass struck one Mount Vernon officer in the eye. Two other officers suffered from ringing in the ears, officials said. A fourth suffered chest pains.
The fleeing car ultimately came to a stop after it “crashed right into the gas station,” witness Martell Carty said.
Carty, 54, was about to pull his car into the gas station when the Malibu vaulted onto the sidewalk.
“(The cops) were chasing him. . . bombarding him,” Martell said. “They piled on him and the police started shooting. I was so scared. It was crazy.”
“I just thank God I did not get shot,” he added.
Visitors to local businesses found themselves scrambling for cover once shots rang out.
Abu Idakwoji, 45, was at the Montefiore Medical Center’s Wakefield Campus on Bronx Blvd. when he saw patients in the waiting room screaming, “Take cover!”
“I saw the people running. I started saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’” Idakwoji recalled. “When I went out (into the lobby), I saw the security guard. He was on the ground. He was saying, ‘Go back inside! There’s been a shooting!’”
All Idakwoji saw was cops jumping on one of the suspects.
“I saw the guy at the gas station being taken down covered with police on him,” he said. “We didn’t know what was going on.”
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