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Cool under fire - Cops chase down dangerous gunman

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For two cops from the 76th Precinct, a simple mechanical error could have been the difference between a September of accolades and a summer of sadness.

Back on June 10, Officers Maggie Clamp and Joseph Gonzalez were on routine patrol when they heard a radio call of a man with a gun in Red Hook.

The cops responded, canvassing the area for the suspect.

When they spotted someone who fit the description, according to Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of the precinct, they gave chase, on foot.

The suspect suddenly turned to the officers, pointed a gun at them, and allegedly pulled the trigger, Kemper said.

But the gun jammed.

There are too many people out on the street, so the cops didn’t return fire, Kemper continued.

Instead, they kept their cool, continued the pursuit, catching up with the suspect—and his 380 semiautomatic pistol—in front of 55 Dwight Street, Kemper said.

Later, it was revealed that one of the rounds in the gun had markings consistent with being struck by the gun’s hammer, the commanding officer said. For whatever reason, the weapon didn’t discharge,

“This is the real deal,” he said.

The 17-year-old suspect was charged with attempted murder, among other charges, Kemper said.

For their efforts, the officers were awarded “Cop of the Month” honors at the September meeting of the 76th Precinct Community Council.

“They did a fantastic job,” Kemper said. “Thank goodness the gun didn’t fire. It could have turned into a nightmare.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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