Video: NYPD cops shoot at fleeing stolen van, wound suspect

The dramatic clash ended with the suspect striking a police car and being taken into custody

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A cop fired five shots at a fleeing stolen van — wounding a suspected car thief — during a dramatic Brooklyn clash caught on responding officers’ body worn cameras, officials said Saturday.

Paul Reed, 60, was shot in the leg after Police Officer Keon Lawson fired five rounds at the 2006 Ford Ecoline van near the corner of Georgia Ave. and Pitkin Ave. in Brownsville Jan. 6.

Two other officers were ordering Reed out of the van, striking its door with their batons, when he revved the engine and charged out of the parking spot, body worn camera footage released by the NYPD shows.

Lawson fired off five rounds as the van approached him, but then the van veered to the left, vaulted a curb and sped off down the sidewalk.

Police stopped the van a short distance away after it struck a responding police car. Reed was taken into custody without incident.

Lawson and four other officers were in uniform but in unmarked vehicles when they saw the Ecoline van parked next to another van on Georgia Ave. just before 9 p.m.

Reed was out of the van and talking to Bernard Bamberg, 58,when cops rolled by. Realizing the van had been reported stolen, the officers got out of their vehicles. And when Reed saw the officers, he jumped into the van and turned on the ignition.

“Get out of the car! Get out of the car!” Police Officer Joshua Ganshaw ordered as he struck the van door with his baton twice. A few seconds later, Reed sped off.

The officers pursued the van to Jamaica and Pennsylvania Aves., where it crashed into a marked police cruiser, cops said.

A 13-minute video released by police shows Lawson shooting at the escaping van and the other four officers either arresting Bamberg or chasing after the vehicle.

No officers were injured. Reed was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for a minor wound and charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving and criminal possession of stolen property.

Bamberg was also taken into custody, charged with drug possession, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

It was not immediately clear if Lawson will be facing any discipline for shooting at the escaping van. The NYPD Patrol Guide expressly prohibits cops from firing at moving vehicles, although some exceptions to that rule have been made in the past.

[READ: Officer not entitled to qualified immunity for shooting into car]

The NYPD Force Investigations Division was still reviewing the incident, officials said.

(c)2021 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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