NYPD releases bodycam footage of deadly police shooting in Harlem

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD has released bodycam footage of a police-involved shooting in Manhattan in which an officer was shot in the chest and saved by his bullet-resistant vest and the suspect was killed.

Officers had responded to a call about a man acting erratically, banging on doors and breaking glass, at an apartment building on Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem around 2 a.m. on October 23, 2019.

Eight officers were searching for him, when Officer Christopher Wintermute encountered 29-year-old Victor Hernandez in the hallway.

Police say Hernandez was naked and holding a semiautomatic .09-mm handgun, and a struggle ensued. Hernandez opened fire and struck Wintermute in the vest before other officers fatally shot him.

Full video - Warning: Viewer discretion is advised


"The officer yelled for help as the struggle continued, and the other officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect several times," then-NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. "Our officer had been shot one time in the chest. The round did not penetrate his bullet-resistant vest. Our officer had also been punched numerous times, resulting in injuries to his face."



Wintermute was treated at St. Luke's Hospital and was released several hours later to cheers from fellow officers. He saluted and was helped into a police van to be taken home with his family.

RAW VIDEO: Officer released from the hospital
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RAW: The NYPD officer shot and wounded during a confrontation in Harlem is greeted by applause as he is released from St. Luke's Hospital.



"The 29-year-old suspect, who has had previous interactions with the police, was pronounced deceased at Harlem Hospital," O'Neill said. "The suspect's firearm was recovered at the scene."



Police said a total of 17 shots were fired, 10 of which hit the suspect, who happened to be the son of a retired NYPD officer.

Authorities say Hernandez had no history of mental illness or drug use but did have six prior arrests for domestic violence.

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