Att’y: Cops shot un­armed sus­pect

2 by­standers hit in of­fi­cer’s 27-bul­let bar­rage

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY WES PAR­NELL AND ROCCO PARASCANDOLA

A Bronx man ac­cused of try­ing to kill two cops in a shootout that hurt two civil­ians was un­armed when the of­fi­cers fired back at him, his lawyer claimed in court.

Ed­win Castillo-Con­cep­cion — who was wounded twice in the Dec. 5 gun­play — pleaded not guilty in Bronx Supreme Court Fri­day of at­tempted mur­der of a po­lice of­fi­cer, as­sault and other charges.

Po­lice said Castillo-Con­cep­cion robbed two drug deal­ers in the lobby of a build­ing on W. 183rd St. in Univer­sity Heights, and fired a shot at them be­fore run­ning off.

Two nearby plain­clothed cops gave chase.

Dur­ing the pur­suit, Castillo-Con­cep­cion al­legedly shot twice at Of­fi­cer Juan Gomez, who re­turned fire with 27 shots.

Gomez al­legedly shot by­stander Irene Urena Perez, 46, in the side. Gabriel Hayes, 12, who was walk­ing nearby with her mom and a neigh­bor’s toddler, was struck in the leg.

Gomez also shot Castillo-Con­cep­cion, once in the neck and once in the foot.

Po­lice had pre­vi­ously said Castillo-Con­cep­cion had tossed away his gun — and a back­pack hold­ing nearly 2 ki­los of co­caine — at some point dur­ing the foot chase.

The sus­pect’s lawyer, John Russo, said video ev­i­dence shows “clearly” that Castillo-Con­cep­cion was un­armed when he was shot.

“My client was with­out a weapon when he was shot in the neck and then when he was on the floor, in his foot, while his hands were up,” Russo said.

Castillo-Con­cep­cion, who showed up in court on crutches, was or­dered held with­out bail.

Gomez’s ac­tions are now the sub­ject of a NYPD in­ter­nal re­view.

Out­side court, lawyer San­ford Ruben­stein, who is rep­re­sent­ing Urena Perez, called Gomez’s tac­tics “reck­less.”

“The ques­tion be­comes the safety of our pub­lic,” he said. “In a sit­u­a­tion where two shots were fired by a per­pe­tra­tor, is it ap­pro­pri­ate to fire 27 times while run­ning?”

Ed­win Castillo-Con­cep­cion ap­pears in Bronx court on crutches.

Irene Urena Perez (photo, left) was shot ac­ci­den­tally by of­fi­cer pur­su­ing sus­pect in the Bronx. Her fa­ther Rafael (cen­ter) talks Fri­day with fam­ily’s lawyer San­ford Ruben­stein (right).

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