An off-duty officer with the New York Police Department who fatally shot a childhood friend last week on Long Island has been arrested and charged with murder, officials said.
Errick Allen, 27, of North Massapequa, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Christopher Curro, 25, of West Babylon, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Thursday.
Allen pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Thursday and is being held without bail. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Authorities allege that shortly after 8 p.m. on May 12, outside of a home in Farmingdale, Allen shot Curro five times. Curro was hit twice in the head at close range with Allen's NYPD service weapon.
Allen initially fled the scene, James said, but returned some time later in the evening.
Officers received a 911 call, and upon their arrival found the victim dead, Nassau County police said.
"There was an altercation between two gentlemen. It started over a conversation that they were having," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said last week. "They met up, a struggle ensued, during that struggle a weapon was produced and the victim was shot and killed."
The commissioner said the two men were childhood friends who grew up together and lived near each other. The police department suspended him without pay for 30 days after the shooting.
The state attorney general serves as a special prosecutor in the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement officers.
"We trust our police officers to protect the safety of New Yorkers, but instead, this individual allegedly betrayed that duty to end another man's life," James said. "My office is committed to ensuring justice is served and that no individual is above the law."
Allen is next due in court on May 26. His attorney, Anthony La Pinta, did not immediately return a request for comment.