Att’y: Cops shot unarmed suspect
2 bystanders hit in officer’s 27-bullet barrage
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).