NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Two NYPD officers caught a potential serial killer who was wanted in connection with a murder in Florida after seeing his picture on their department-issued smartphones.
Nicholas Gibson is suspected in the murder of 77-year-old Erik Stocker in Miami Beach, and authorities say he confessed to being involved in six additional murders after being taken into custody on the subway.
After police in Florida notified the NYPD that Gibson was headed to New York City, NYPD sent officers his distinctive mug shot to officers' smartphones.
Sgt. Roger Coleman and Officer Estefany Rosario recognized the 32-year-old suspect on the L subway line, at the 14th Street stop, last Sunday after seeing the wanted man's mug shot on their phones
The two transit officers met the suspect before they even met each other, and they hadn't even spoken a word to each other before they took him in. But their training kicked in.
"I couldn't have had a better partner that day," Coleman said. "I've never even seen her name on a roster before, let alone met her, saw her, anything."
They checked their phones again, realized it was an exact match, and moved in to make the arrest.
"When I got there at the platform, we looked at each other and we just knew," Rosario said. "On the flier, it says he's armed and dangerous, so we knew that much. When the sergeant tells me he has a gun, all my academy, all my career training lead to that moment."
Sergeant Coleman was initially alone and decided to move in by himself.
"I had looked at the flier on the phone maybe 15 minutes before, and there he is," Coleman said. "He steps off the last car on the L train coming from Brooklyn, he walked right to me...We had a conversation. We're walking, and I was like, 'Do you remember me?' This and that, and then I see Officer Rosario and I look at her and she kind of knew right away...I grab him, we try to push him towards the wall and a very violent struggle breaks out. It's a fight."
They say Gibson stood with his body tensed and his fist clenched before allegedly swinging at the officers, flailing his arms and refusing to put his hands behind his back.
"He jams his hand into his jacket," Coleman said. "He was wearing a motorcycle jacket, and he jams his hand as if he was going for a gun. So I told Officer Rosario, 'He's got a gun.'"
It turned out he did not have a gun, but even though he was taken into custody, but he did not go quietly. And Officer Rosario has the battle scars to prove it.
"I have some torn ligaments on my hand, on my thumb," she said.
But when asked how much pain she is in, Rosario said she has three kids so this is nothing she can't handle.
Later, during questioning, they say Gibson admitted killing Stocker as well as having a role in six other murders during earlier times in his life that he claims occurred in Florida, Georgia and California.
That information is being evaluated, and authorities in Florida are working with other law enforcement agencies to determine if the claims are credible.
The process is expected to be lengthy, and authorities could not corroborate any of the murders Gibson claimed to have committed.
The NYPD smart phones were issued in 2015, and now there are 39,000 in the hands of officers. Law enforcement says they are changing the way officers operate at every level.
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2 NYPD officers credited with arrest of possible serial killer wanted in Florida murder