Hero off-duty officer shot during robbery

April 18, 2011 3:49:12 AM PDT
There was a wild shootout inside a business in Brooklyn Saturday night. At least four men tried to rob an auto repair shop in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The only problem: an off-duty police officer was inside.

Tri-borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority officer Anthony Presley opened fire.

He stopped the robbery, but was shot in the process.

Loretta Presley only knew that her son Anthony, a TBTA police officer, had been shot while trying to break up a robbery inside a Bedford-Stuyvesant auto repair shop.

"They had to be approaching him for him to do this because other than that if he would be around and you wouldn't know he'd be there because he's the type who doesn't talk much," Loretta Presley said.

But it's what he did inside DSG Auto that most likely saved lives.

Presley was waiting for his own car to be fixed when four to five gunmen entered the shop around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

As the suspects were searching everyone, they realized Presley had a gun and police say the group began assaulting the 10-year veteran.

That's when Presley pulled out his weapon and starting shooting.

The suspects fired back.

"I was in my apartment over the store and I heard about 6 shots," neighbor Henry Woods said.

Woods owns a flower shop just a few doors down and had a good idea what was happening.

"I've gotten robbed three times. I wasn't [ever hurt] but my son was hit with a gun over the head because he wouldn't get down on the floor," Woods said.

After Presley was wounded and dropped his gun, a school safety agent reportedly picked it up and started shooting at the suspects. School safety agents are not authorized to handle weapons, whether on or off duty.

On Sunday, police found several casings on Albany Avenue not far from where they spotted a Hi-Point 9mm firearm.

During the gunfight, one of the suspects stumbled into Interfaith Hospital. He had been shot in the neck and face.

A second suffered from gunshot wounds to his leg and shoulder.

He was rushed to Kings County, along with officer Presley, who was hit in the shoulder.

Those men are Kenneth Baxter, 21, and Reashawn Jackson, 18.

They are under arrest and are charged with attempted murder, robbery and other charges.

Both are from Brooklyn.

Two other suspects are still on the run.

A graduate of Automotive High School, Presley once worked as a school safety officer.

The father of four grew up in the Albany Houses.

"He really is a good person, he would go out of his way to help people," neighbor Veronica Thompson said.