The NYPD Crime Scene Unit hauled away an FBI agent's family car on a flatbed Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the off-duty agent shot a man in the back, during a confrontation over a stolen, car radio.
The unidentified agent was awakened from his sleep about 5:15 Wednesday morning and went outside his home on Sutter Avenue in South Ozone Park, Queens. He confronted several men who had apparently smashed the passenger-side window of his family's red Lexus. He fired a shot, as some of the men were fleeing with a car radio. The blood of one man could be seen on the ground near 130th Street and Sutter Avenue. The agent then called 911, telling the dispatcher he believed he had shot one of the men in the back.
Shortly after the shooting, a man walked into Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn with a bullet hole in his back,
which matched the situation described by the off-duty agent.
"If they were there stealing his property, you get what you ask for," said Louis Ballentine, a South Ozone Park resident.
But the agent is now the subject of an NYPD investigation and he's been placed on modified duty by the FBI, while detectives try to determine whether the shooting was justified.
Retired crime scene detective, Wally Zeins, told PIX 11 a law enforcement officer would normally not have the right to shoot a suspect in a simple larceny case. "Not for a stolen radio," Zeins said. "If it's deadly, physical force presented to you, or you fear for your life or the life of another person, you can use deadly, physical force."
Zeins pointed out the NYPD would have jurisdiction in the shooting.
The off-duty agent works for the FBI field office in New York City. Spokesman, J. Peter Donald, told PIX 11 the FBI was not releasing the agent's name, citing security concerns for the agent and his family.
Another South Ozone Park resident, Michael Night, said of the agent, "When you first wake up, you might think something else was going on. I'm not defending his actions, but you've got to think twice before you steal. 'Thou shalt not steal'," Night added, quoting one of the Ten Commandments.