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Video: Gunman kept firing at NYPD officers even after he fell to the ground mortally wounded

Jermaine Hickson, who was threatening to shoot his girlfriend, began shooting as soon as officers arrived at the scene, and got off at least five shots at the officers


By Ellen Moynihan, Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The gunman shot dead by cops in Coney Island Thursday night kept firing at officers even after he fell to the ground mortally wounded, video obtained by the Daily News shows.

Jermaine Hickson, 42, a Harlem resident, began shooting as soon as cops arrived at the scene, and got off at least five shots at the officers, according to police sources and the surveillance video.

The dramatic confrontation started about 10:15 p.m. Thursday as Hickson threatened to shoot his girlfriend outside HL Gourmet Deli Grocery at W. 36th St. and Neptune Ave, police said.

Surveillance video taken from outside the deli shows Hickson, wearing a white-hooded sweatshirt and brown pants, arguing with his girlfriend as he stood in the crosswalk on W. 36th St.

His girlfriend, sporting a blue shirt and a ponytail, was several feet away, by the deli’s front door. At first she raised her hands. Then she began gesturing wildly as she tried to calm him down.

Meanwhile, two other women had alerted officers on patrol a block away, at W. 36th St. and Mermaid Ave., about what was going on.

As soon as an NYPD patrol car approached, he whirled around, raised the pistol that had been at his side, and started firing.

“As soon as we heard two shots, we threw ourselves behind the deli [counter],” said an employee at HL Gourmet Deli Grocery who was helping a customer when gunfire erupted.

His pistol raised at the police cruiser, Hickson fired off four rounds as he backed up onto the sidewalk behind a parked car, the video shows.

The two officers in the cruiser ducked behind their car doors before firing back, video shows.

“It wasn’t good,” said a witness who wished to remain anonymous. “It sounded like some cheap fireworks until I heard the word, ‘gun.’ At that point I jumped up and the rapid fire was going on.”

“He was so locked in,” the witness said of one cop who fired at Hickson. “I’ve never seen a cop this focused on looking at something.”

Hickson’s knees suddenly buckled, and he fell to the ground on his back.

But even after he was hit, Hickson kept firing at the officers, NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey told reporters late Thursday.

As he laid on the sidewalk wounded, he rolled toward the cops, racked the slide on his pistol and fired off one more shot, the video shows.

“Then eventually, he stops,” Maddrey said.

After the shooting stopped, Hickson was subdued and handcuffed as officers tried in vain to render aid, Maddrey said.

“They tried to revive the guy — they really tried,” said the witness who watched the chaos unfold from his window.

The gunman died at the scene.

One officer who fired back at Hickson broke down afterward and had to be brought around the corner, the witness added.

“They did everything to the book as far as I see,” said the witness. “The only thing that I saw was when the girl was like, ‘Stop, stop!’, they threw her on the ground. That wasn’t necessary, she was no threat.”

Five officers and a sergeant — two in full uniform — were at the deli during the shooting, and they arrived in a marked patrol car and two unmarked cars, police said.

Maddrey said that four of the six cops on scene fired their weapons. It wasn’t clear Friday how many shots they fired.

The officers were treated for ringing in their ears but were not struck by gunfire.

The shooting was the second fatal incident involving officers in a week.

On Nov. 3, police shot a 21-year old gunman moments after he opened fire on another man outside a Bronx bodega, cops said.

Detectives from the Queens Warrant Squad working nearby spotted the gunplay and fired shots at the man on E. Gun Hill Road near Hull Ave. in Norwood, video showed.

The mortally wounded gunman was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died.

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