Man accidentally shot by Bronx police officer

February 10, 2011 3:52:05 AM PST
A man was accidentally shot by police in his Bronx home as officers searched for his son on a drug arrest.

Authorities say 76-year-old Jose Colon was asleep in his apartment in the Bronx when he was awakened by heavily-armed police officers.

The next moment, the grandfather and community board member was on his floor with a bullet in his stomach.

Colon's attorney wants to know if his client was shot because an officer accidently pulled the trigger as he reached for a gun-mounted light.

Now, Colon needs his family's help to get around his Soundview apartment. But he thanks the Lord he is at least still alive.

The bullet wound is still fresh and the scars will last for the rest of his life.

"Every time I move, I get pain, pain, pain," Colon said.

He says he never imagined he would end up the victim of a police shooting.

He works to help people find affordable housing and is a well-known member of Bronx Community Board 2.

On January 22 between 3 and 4 a.m., Colon was awakened to the sound of someone pounding on the door.

He says he only got a little of the ways towards the door when police suddenly came bursting in.

"When I hear the bang on the door, I said, 'Wait a minute,'" he said. "I just walked, and when I see the light, I felt the bullet in my side. Then I said, 'Somebody shot me,'" Colon said.

Police were looking for Colon's son, Alberto, who was arrested for possession of heroin.

Lawyers say no guns were found in the apartment.

Police called it an accidental shooting, but Colon's attorney wonders if the gun-mounted light was to blame.

"The problem with the gun is that it is safe with the flashlight, if it is used properly," the attorney said. "And the police have to be trained and retrained on a regular basis."

This is the second case to raise questions about the gun-mounted lights. Another in Texas is the subject of a lawsuit.

However, the maker of the Surefire X300 flashlight and local police in Texas defend its long record of safety.

Eyewitness News emailed the NYPD for a response to the allegations, and have not yet heard back.

Colon's lawyers plan to sue the city for up to $20 million.