NYPD officer mistakenly shoots drug suspect's dad

/ Source: The Associated Press

A drug raid went awry Saturday when a police officer accidentally fired his gun and wounded the suspect's elderly father, authorities said.

The shooting involved an officer whose own policeman father was killed in the line of duty nearly three decades ago.

It happened around 7 a.m. as a tactical squad entered a Bronx apartment to arrest a man on a narcotics charge, the New York Police Department said.

As the raid unfolded, one of the arresting officers, Andrew McCormack, inadvertently discharged his weapon, striking the suspect's 76-year-old father in the stomach, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

The man wounded in Saturday's raid was hospitalized in stable condition and was expected to survive, authorities said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly visited the man at the hospital on Saturday afternoon, police said. The commissioner also met with members of his family.

McCormack's duty status remained unchanged Saturday afternoon as the circumstances of the shooting were being investigated, police said.

McCormack's father, Joseph McCormack, was killed in 1983. Bad luck played a role in the death. According to newspaper accounts, a mentally disturbed man who had barricaded himself in a Bronx home fired a shotgun blast that ricocheted off a tree and hit McCormack as he took cover in a neighboring yard. The shooter then was killed by officers returning fire.

Andrew McCormack was a child at the time, but he followed in his father's footsteps and graduated from the police academy in 1999. After his father was killed, his mother, Susan McCormack, co-founded Survivors of the Shield, a support group for the families of slain police officers.

The drug suspect, Alberto Colon, 41, was in custody Saturday and wasn't available for comment. Heroin was found in the apartment, the police department said, but charges hadn't been formalized.

Colon's father wasn't alleged to have done anything wrong or to have had any knowledge of his son's crimes, police said.