Firefighter Shot In Staten Island, NY Standoff
August 15, 2015 by staff
Firefighter Shot In Staten Island, NY Standoff, The fugitive, barricaded in his basement apartment, had shot a firefighter – the first time a New York City firefighter had been hit with gunfire in the line of duty in more than 20 years. The man had then kept negotiators on the phone for hours, and in three instances, he had fired his gun.
Still, the authorities said, the negotiators were hopeful. Friends had been summoned to talk to the man, a 38-year-old former convict named Garland Tyree who was wanted for violating parole, and his mother had been flown to New York from Delaware in a Police Department helicopter. In a phone call from outside the house, she told Mr. Tyree that she loved him.
Six hours after the standoff began, it sounded as if he would relent.
Instead, Mr. Tyree emerged from his Staten Island apartment on Friday wielding a fully automatic AK-47 and began shooting. The cadre of law enforcement officers that surrounded him returned fire, the police said, and Mr. Tyree was killed.
“This is a very challenging day for our first responders – for our police officers, for our firefighters, for our E.M.T.s,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Staten Island after the standoff was over. “But it’s a day when they all handled their jobs in an exemplary fashion.
“There’s a lot to be proud of today in the way our first responders handled something you just can’t be fully prepared for.”
Officials said they were grateful that the injured firefighter, Lt. James S. Hayes, a 31-year veteran of the Fire Department, was in stable condition and would recover, and they praised the performance of law enforcement officers.
“It’s hard work and they did it well,” Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said. “We want these situations to end with everyone safe, but it’s the public’s safety that takes precedence.”
The standoff escalated soon after it began. A team of United States Marshals Service members and New York police detectives arrived just before sunrise at the multifamily house on Destiny Court in the Mariners Harbor neighborhood. They were ready to arrest Mr. Tyree for the parole violation, but found smoke billowing from his apartment.
The police later discovered that Mr. Tyree had set off a smoke bomb. Unaware of that at the time, officers on the scene thought there was a fire and called in the Fire Department. Lieutenant Hayes went into the apartment, where Mr. Tyree shot him twice, in the ankle and the hip, the authorities said.
Lieutenant Hayes, 53, was carried out and taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was being treated for wounds that officials said were not life-threatening.
“This certainly could have been a tragic day for the New York City Fire Department,” Daniel A. Nigro, the fire commissioner, said. Instead, he added, “Lieutenant Hayes is recovering in the hospital with his family and for us, we are quite thankful.”
During the news conference, Mr. de Blasio dismissed questions about reports that he had been exercising at a gym in Brooklyn as the episode on Staten Island unfolded. “We’re briefing you all on a very serious situation, and that’s just not a serious question,” he told reporters. Representatives for the mayor were quick to note that he had been in close contact with police and fire officials throughout the morning.
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