Guard hurt in Waldorf-Astoria shooting

November 15, 2008 8:03:50 PM PST
A retired NYPD officer working security was shot during a brazen robbery attempt at a high-end jewelry shop inside the Waldforf-Astoria Hotel in Midtown Saturday afternoon. According to officials, 54-year-old Gregory Boyle was shot in the chest after confronting the suspect. He is expected to survive. Boyle retired in 2002 from the 66th Precinct, Detectives Squad, which is in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Investigators are questioning the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Rafael Rabinovich-Ardens, of Highland Park, New Jersey. He is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder, assault, attemped grand larceny, robbery and criminal use of a firearm.

Investigators say the suspect allegedly smashed two display cases with a gun to rob watches from the jewelry store when Boyle tried to stop him. The suspect started firing, striking Boyle in the left upper chest.

A second hotel employee ran to the jewelry store and tackled the suspect, who reportedly fired another shot.

Dozens of cops responded after receiving calls of shots fired at the hotel. It is unknown how many shots were fired or if Boyle was able to get any rounds off.

The first arriving officers were four cops from the NYPD ESU unit, Hercules team, doing security sweeps at Grand Central Terminal. When they got to the lobby, the officers told investigators they could smell gun powder in the air and were immediately directed to the jewelry store, where they apprehended the suspect.

While apprehending the man, one of the ESU officers, a trained medic, rendered aid to Boyle.

Investigators recovered a .45-caliber gun, which is believed to belong to the suspect.

There were dozens of guests in the lobby of the hotel who heard the shots and started running for cover.

Also, several Secret Service agents who were providing dignitary protection to a foreign national in the area ran to the scene.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited the guard at Bellevue Hospital, where he is recovering.