Police Shoot Out with Muslim in Brooklyn
The career criminal whose drawn gun sparked a wild shootout in which two Brooklyn police officers were wounded in Bedford-Stuyvesant early Saturday is a cop-hating, self-radicalized Muslim who is associated with other suspected extremists, police sources told The Post.
Jamal Funes, whose rap sheet stretches 17 years across three states, is “associated with people the Joint Terrorism Task Force are looking at,” one source said.
Meanwhile, officials said the two cops may have been victims of friendly fire.
“It’s quite possible both officers were struck by bullets from other officers, and possibly deflected bullets,” said Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis.
Police hope ballistics tests will show whose shots hit the cops. Seven officers fired a total of 54 bullets, one source said.
Officer William Reddin was hit in the hip, possibly by bullet fragments.
His partner, Andrew Yurkiw, was struck by a bullet that deflected off of a car, hit him in the chest and was stopped by his bulletproof vest, sources said.
Reddin needed surgery, and remained in stable condition at Kings County Hospital on Saturday night.
Funes, 34, was shot “numerous” times and was in Brookdale Hospital in critical condition, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
The incident began when Funes stopped his car at a traffic light on Malcolm X Boulevard and Quincy Street, police sources said.
An MTA worker in his transit uniform was in his own car waiting at the same light, when, looking over, he saw Funes allegedly pointing a silver gun at him, the sources said. The rattled MTA staffer sped off.
Police believe Funes mistook the MTA worker for a police officer, according to the sources.
At the same time, two housing police officers heard a gunshot and ran to investigate, the sources said.
Funes next allegedly leveled his weapon but didn’t fire, the sources said. Instead, he drove off, and the housing cops jumped in their car to chase him. They also called for backup.
Reddin and Yurkiw, part of an 81st Precinct plainclothes anti-crime unit, joined in the chase.
They followed Funes as he zoomed the wrong way down Lexington Avenue and slammed into a patrol car.
Surrounded in his car, Funes faced off against eight cops at Lexington and Malcolm X Boulevard.
Bullets flew both ways, with two hitting Reddin and Yurkiw, who had both gotten out of their car. “When officers show up, they’re in the middle of a combat situation and have to make split-second decisions whether to shoot,” said a source, who called the incident “a moving, running gun battle.”
Funes stayed inside his car throughout the shootout.
One resident said, “We felt like we were in Baghdad.” Cops recovered a .357-caliber handgun and five shell casings from the front seat of Funes’ car,
Bratton said. Reddin and Yurkiw were “alert and talkative” in the hospital, said Mayor de Blasio. “It was so good to see them in such good shape despite everything they’d been through,” the mayor added.