Move over 50 cent, it looks like someones got you beat. A wild gunfight in Harlem left seven people shot, including two police offers. One victim, took 21 bullets and survived.
A bulletproof vest saved the life of a city cop shot by one of his NYPD colleagues Sunday in a wild Harlem shootout that left two men riddled with police bullets.
Luis Soto, 22, died after being shot six times. The fatal bullet tore through his lungs, heart and kidney.
The police said Soto was killed by Angel Alvarez, 23, who then shot at police officers, four of whom returned fire.
But the results of ballistics tests raised questions about Soto’s death. The tests determined 50 shots were fired in all – 46 by police and four by Alvarez – indicating at least two of the six slugs that hit Soto were fired by police.
Alvarez was hit at least 21 times and, remarkably, lived to tell the tale.
Plainclothes NYPD Officer Michael Tedeschi, 36, was hit in the chest by another cop’s bullet, butsurvived thanks to his bulletproof vest. Another cop was grazed in the hand.
Three civilians also suffered minor gunshot wounds in the 3 a.m. melee that sent hundreds of partyers diving for cover on Lenox Ave. between W. 143rd and W. 144th Sts.
“We have no reason at this juncture to believe that they were involved in any wrongdoing. They just happened to be there,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
A police source said it appeared the three bystanders were also hit by police bullets. “And because of that, and the number of shots, this is going to be a shooting where the tactics are taken a hard look at,” the source said.
Another top NYPD source said of the shooting, “It’s justified, but messy.”
About 30 to 40 police officers were trying to disperse a crowd of about 200 people who were gathered for a barbecue in honor of Tujuan Ford, a Harlem man nicknamed “Twizzy,” who was killed last week.
Alvarez and Soto began fighting – and all hell broke loose.
“There was a tumultuous situation,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
“There was a report of a dispute between these two, and as they [officers] were approaching, [Alvarez] fired at Soto and at the approaching officers,” Browne added.
Asked if Soto was shot by police, Browne said: “We believe he was shot by his assailant – Alvarez.”
Witnesses told the Daily News that Alvarez and Soto were punching each other when a confusing mix of uniformed and plainclothes cops surrounded them.
“They were fist-fighting. I heard one fired shot before the police fired. When the first shot let off, Angel was still fist-fighting,” said Shariff Spencer, 28, a childhood friend of Alvarez’s.
“Police gunned down both of them. Never one time did you hear, ‘Freeze,’ did you hear, ‘Stop.’ Not ‘NYPD.’ Not nothing. All you heard was shots,” he said.
Police in NY love to bang that hammer. When it comes to bullets, they do basketball numbers. Hopefully dude that survived the 21 shots wont parlay that into a rap career. SMH