Wrong man shot by police on Long Island

January 13, 2010 8:03:23 PM PST
A police involved shooting is under investigation after an officer wounded a man who turned out to be uninvolved in the crime in question."This was a very unfortunate incident," Suffolk County Police Chief Dominic Varrone said.

Police announced the surprising turn of events on Monday afternoon.

The suspect shot by an officer wasn't a suspect at all -- just the wrong guy, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

The shooting happened just three miles away from a Huntington Station Taco Bell, a mere minutes after three masked men robbed it at gunpoint and took off in a car.

The alert had just gone out over the radio when the veteran cop found himself at a red light behind a car carrying three people.

"He commanded them to keep their hands up and commanded the person in the back seat to show his hands," Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky said.

But police say the driver got out of the car and confronted the cop as the backseat passenger suddenly put his hands between his knees. The officer shot him right through the car window.

"It was clearly an emotionally charged situation. The officer clearly felt these may have been involved in the robbery," Varrone said.

The 31-year-old man was shot in the abdomen. The man was transported to Huntington Hospital where he was admitted and listed in stable condition.

Turned out the men in the car were unarmed and had nothing to do with the taco bell robbery.

The three violent men who did are still on the run.

Detectives worked that crime scene for hours on Monday, making impressions of tire tracks and footprints near the scene.

The names of the officer and the wounded man have not been released.