It happened outside a nightclub near the intersection of 57th Street and Northern Boulevard at around 3:12 a.m. Thursday.
Police say the officer had worked until midnight and then attended a concert by Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers at the La Boom nightclub.
"At some point the officer exits the club, where he is confronted by several armed individuals wearing masks," said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. "We believe these individuals were attempting to rob the officer, possibly of jewelry the officer was wearing."
Moments later, gunfire was exchanged between the officer and at least one of the perpetrators, Shea said.
WATCH: Police commissioner on wounding of off-duty officer in Queens
The off-duty officer was shot multiple times, in the leg, chest, wrist and grazed in the head.
"He is lucky to be alive," said Shea, who credited FDNY paramedics with treating the officer at the scene and saving his life.
"This officer had minutes to live," Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco added at a news conference this morning.
The lieutenant, a 15-year veteran assigned to the 71 Precinct in Brooklyn, is listed in critical but stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital.
A 20-year-old suspect was shot in the chest and stomach and pronounced dead.
He had one prior arrest, in February 2020, for gang assault in Lower Manhattan.
As many as three others, wearing ski masks and also armed, fled and are being sought.
it is possible one of the wanted suspects showed up later this morning injured at a Bronx hospital. Detectives will question him.
The robbery and shooting matches one of the ongoing citywide robbery patterns of violent suspects targeting patrons for their pricey jewelry after they leave clubs and restaurants.
"It would certainly fit the existing patterns that we have," Shea said.
The off-duty officer fired eight shots and nine shots were fired by the suspects.
A semi automatic handgun gun with an extended magazine, which can hold up to 30 bullets, was recovered at the scene.
At his early morning news conference, the police commissioner asked for the public's help tracking down the suspects.
He said tips can be submitted by calling the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.
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