Video apparently shows shootout that injured NYPD officer, killed suspect in Washington Heights

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Video circulating on social media is believed to show the shootout between an NYPD officer and a suspect in Washington Heights.

The incident was reported near West 187th Street and Wadsworth Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police say two plainclothes officers from the 34th Precinct responded to the area after reports of shots fired. They reportedly chased a man who had a gun in his hand into a nearby parking lot.

They say the suspect went behind a parked car and then fired three shots at one of the officers. The 34-year-old officer, identified as Justin Vartanian, was struck in the right arm.

"At the same time this is happening, the officer's partner, also a 34 Precinct Anti-Crime officer, drives his unmarked police car into the parking lot," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. "He gets out and takes a position in front of the car. One bullet fired by the suspect goes past this officer and through the windshield of the police car. This second officer then fires three rounds at the suspect."

Video posted to Citizen App shows officers running across a street that's blocked off by police cruisers.

The suspect, 42-year-old Luiz Leizado, was struck in the chest and was pronounced dead at the hospital. A gun was found near his body.

Another suspect was taken into custody, but that person's role in the incident remains unclear.

Vartanian was taken to St. Luke's Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury and was listed in stable condition.

He was released Friday morning just before 11 a.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and O'Neill visited the wounded officer overnight in the hospital.

"These officers did everything right to protect the people of this community, put themselves in harm's way, and thank God they're going to be OK," de Blasio said. "It's a reminder again, as the commissioner said, of the dangers our officers face."

The officer is a five and a half year veteran of the NYPD.

Leizado, said to be a reputed gang member, had served two terms in state prison. In 2006, he was convicted of second-degree assault in Brooklyn and served two years. Then, in 2013, he was convicted of drug and weapons possession in Manhattan and served another year behind bars.

* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
*Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.