A nearly 7-year veteran of the NYPD lost his life during a confrontation with a suspect, struck by 3 bullets in the Bronx early Sunday morning. The suspect, with various priors according to police, also died as other officers returned fire.
Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a press conference at Jacobi Medical Center that the shooting happened just after midnight near the Edenwald Houses at East 229th Street and Laconia Avenue.
NYPD officers assigned to the Bronx borough anti-crime unit were patrolling the streets around East 229th Street. Officials said they were there because gang activity, which included recent shootings in that area. Behind that location, three officers in one police car got out of their vehicle to question a man. The man fled and foot pursuit ensued.
“Just after midnight this morning, a brave NYPD officer, doing the job we ask him to do, the job that New Yorkers needed him to do, was shot and killed,” Capt. Terence Monahan, NYPD chief of department, said at an early morning press conference.
Monahan said officer-worn body camera showed the suspect reaching into his waistband for an object while fleeing police.
Mulkeen and the suspect got into a prolonged struggle on the ground with the officer shouting, “He’s reaching for it, he’s reaching for it,” according to audio from the body-camera footage, police said.
“Numerous shots” were fired by five separate police officers and Mulkeen was struck three times, police said. It’s unclear who fired the fatal shots.
Police radio transmissions captured the panic that came next as an officer frantically requested an ambulance. Police officials did not release the body-camera video.
“I need a bus! I need a bus!” he said, using police jargon for an ambulance. “officer down.”
But instead of waiting for an ambulance, the other officers piled Officer Mulkeen into a police car and raced toward the hospital, one witness said.
“Brian was a great cop dedicated to keeping this city safe,” Chief Monahan said. “In fact, just last night he arrested a man in possession of a gun in the very same precinct.”
It was one of more than 260 arrests Officer Mulkeen made over the last six years — more than half of them for felony charges. He had earned five medals for excellence, the police said.
Officer Mulkeen graduated in 2008 from Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business, where he was the team captain for track-and-field, one of his former coaches said. He had recently rejoined the team as a volunteer coach, the school said.
“Brian Mulkeen went out into the world to do exactly what we expect of our alumni — be a man for others — and he was slain in service to the local community,” said the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, Fordham’s president.
The officer’s former coach, Tom Dewey, said Officer Mulkeen had transformed himself to become a police officer, including shedding weight from his 6-foot-4-inch frame.
“He got himself in great, great shape,” Mr. Dewey said. “You could tell he was going to do this and do it well and be prepared.”
Brian Horowitz, who now coaches Fordham’s track teams, recalled memories of when he and Officer Mulkeen were students at the university.
“He comes off as this big guy, intimidating in size, but his smile — he had this jolly and cheerful personality,” Mr. Horowitz said in an interview. “He was a mentor. Always helpful. You could go to him with any issue.”
Thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Mulkeen’s family, friends, and department.