Suspect who fired shot at police in Harlem during standoff dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
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Police said 23-year-old Antonio Armstrong appears to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head inside his West 147th Street apartment.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police say a man who fired shots at officers as they responded to his Harlem apartment Wednesday is dead.

Police said 23-year-old Antonio Armstrong appears to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head inside his West 147th Street apartment.

NYPD officers were serving a parole warrant when the suspect fired at least one shot at them, they said.

Police set up a perimeter around the scene and called in negotiators.

"They encountered an individual who fired at our officers. We have at least one officer that returned fire," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Residents were asked to shelter in place while police worked to resolve the situation.

Armstrong was wanted for assaulting his ex-girlfriend-which prompted an Amber Alert when he took off with his infant daughter back in June of this year. He was also wanted for questioning in two Harlem shootings, one of them, fatal.

The gunman in that case shot into a crowd in front of 45 West 139th Street in the early morning hours of September 13. Menkie Woodard-Collins, 24, was shot in the head and died.

Separately, he punched a woman in the jaw on the Lower East Side in February 2020. He also has a prior arrest for drug possession with intent to sell in January 2020.

"Negotiators began a dialogue with the suspect, over time the suspect did not respond," said Chief of Department Rodney Harrison, NYPD. "Emergency services unit were able to gain a visual inside the apartment. The suspect appeared to be lying on the ground inside the living room. The officers then entered the apartment and observed the suspect was motionless on the floor. The individual appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene."

Harrison added that Armstrong's firearm was recovered from inside the apartment.

A close family friend said that Armstrong was volatile, that he was bi-polar and was known to carry a gun. She questioned the suicide theory, but admitted it's plausible.

"He could have had that frame of mind where he didn't wanna go back to jail," family friend Sylvia Williams said. "That could have been possible, too. But we won't know until we find out about the autopsy."

There was also a woman inside the apartment at the time. Harrison said that they believe she had a relationship with Armstrong. She is safe at this time.

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