This is just tragic.
An on-duty cop distraught over a possible breakup with his girlfriend shot himself to death in front of the horrified woman – as she tried in vain to stop him.
“I love you,” Officer Philip Chlanda told his girlfriend as she ran toward him early Tuesday.
Chlanda, 29, pulled the trigger of his service 9-mm. Glock about 3:20 a.m. and collapsed near his marked squad car parked on E. 36th St. in Murray Hill. Emergency workers took him to Bellevue Hospital, but the cop couldn’t be saved.
“Nobody saw this coming,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman.
Chlanda, in uniform and on a meal break, was inside his parents’ third-floor apartment, where he and his girlfriend also lived. He had gone through the girlfriend’s Facebook page to see if there was evidence she was seeing someone else, police said.
“He was left with the impression that she might leave him,” Browne said.
The couple began to argue, walking out of the apartment and down the stairs. Once on the sidewalk, Chlanda pulled out the gun. The panicked girlfriend couldn’t get to him fast enough. The cop of four years pulled the trigger.
Browne called it “a sad, tragic incident” and said Chlanda had “an unblemished record.” At the time of his death, he was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Tribeca.
“He was a gentle sort of fellow, very courteous,” said a neighbor, Dr. Rosemary Clemens. “It’s very unsettling. It’s particularly terrible when it’s somebody in the line of duty protecting others.”
Staffers at the Westside Rifle & Pistol Range, where Chlanda was a regular, said they’re still trying to absorb the news.
“He’s the last person I would ever have expected something like this to happen to,” said a friend, who did not want to give his name. “He was a standup guy. It’s really shocking.”
Love can make you do strange things. But suicide should not be one of them.