Updated 04/08/2012 05:42 PM
Four Police Officers Wounded In Shootout With Brooklyn Hostage Suspect
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Four police officers were expected to recover from injuries received during a shootout in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn early Sunday.
Detective Michael Keenan, Detective Kenneth Ayala, Police Officer Matthew Granahan and Captain Al Pizzano responded to a call of an armed man threatening movers outside an apartment building at 3301 Nostrand Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police say Nakwon Foxworth, 33, then held his pregnant girlfriend and their four-month-old son hostage in a sixth-floor apartment.
When the officers were able to enter the apartment around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, the woman and child broke free and escaped, leaving the door open behind her.
Investigators say Foxworth then fired through the open door, shooting his 9mm Browning semi-automatic handgun 12 times. He was standing only 10 feet away from the officers.
Keenan, 52, a 28-year veteran of the NYPD, and Granahan, 35, who has been on the force for 11 years, were shot in the calf.
Ayala, 49, an 18-year veteran, was hit in the thigh and foot.
Pizzano, 45, a 25-year veteran, was grazed in the face.
Several weapons in Foxworth's possession
Police then returned fire and shot Foxworth in the abdomen. He was taken to Kings County Hospital in critical but stable condition.
By Sunday evening, Keenan and Ayala remained hospitalized.
Police found several firearms and rounds of ammunition in Foxworth's apartment after he was taken into custody.
Foxworth was released from prison in 2010 after serving 10 years for attempted murder and selling drugs in prison.
At an early Sunday morning news conference at Luther Medical Center, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg reiterated an urgent need to control the underground market for guns.
"Inside the apartment, we've uncovered a cache of weapons that speaks volumes about illegal guns. The 9mm [handgun] that Foxworth used to shoot these officers was part of a multiple-gun purchase in Wilmington, N.C.," said Kelly. "A sawed-off military assault rifle quipped with a scope and had been stolen from Florida, and a defaced, .22-caliber revolver, fully loaded."
"Here we were very lucky. It could have been a great tragedy," said Bloomberg. "Until Congress wakes up and finds some courage to stand up to the gun lobby, illegal guns will continue to end up in the hands of dangerous people, like tonight's shooter."
Eight police officers have been shot while in the line of duty in the last four months, according to the mayor.
In February, Police Officer Kevin Herlihy was shot in a Manhattan subway station by a murder suspect, and in January, Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the base of the skull chasing a suspect in Brooklyn.
Both Herlihy and Brennan have since been promoted.