New York City police officers shot and killed a man near Crotona Park in the Bronx on Tuesday night during an exchange of gunfire that left one officer wounded, officials said.
Two uniformed officers were on patrol near Third Avenue and Claremont Parkway at about 10:45 p.m. when they spotted the man, and one officer approached him, the police said at a news conference on Tuesday night.
It was not clear why the officers zeroed in on the man, whom they identified as Rameek Smith, 25, and who they said was free while awaiting sentencing on a gun charge.
Mr. Smith began to run, and the officers gave chase, James W. Essig, chief of detectives for the New York Police Department, said at the news conference. The officers followed Mr. Smith to Bathgate Avenue, where he turned and fired two shots, striking one officer, the chief said. The officers fired back, shooting Mr. Smith in the head.
He died early Wednesday at St. Barnabas Hospital, a spokesman for the Police Department said.
The officer who was shot was treated and released from Lincoln Hospital, the police said Wednesday morning.
The police said a 9-millimeter Glock handgun that had been stolen last year in Richmond, Va., had been recovered at the scene.
The police said that Mr. Smith, who gave his address as a homeless shelter on Staten Island and has relatives in the Bronx, had an extensive arrest record.
He was awaiting sentencing next month on a weapons possession charge after he was caught with a handgun in a Brooklyn subway station, Chief Essig said.
“Here’s the problem,” Mayor Eric Adams said at the news briefing, which was held at Lincoln Hospital. “The arrest was March 2020, and for 20 months after the arrest he remained on the streets.”
“The number of shootings we respond to every night is despicable,” Mr. Adams said.
Mr. Adams, a former police captain and transit officer who has vowed to increase public safety amid a rise in certain types of crime, has been tested by a series of shootings, some of which have injured or killed police officers.
In late January, two police officers were killed after being shot inside a Harlem apartment while responding to a call about a mother and son fighting.
Earlier that month, an officer was hospitalized after being shot while sleeping in a car outside a station house in East Harlem. Also in January, a single bullet fired by a teenager struck a police officer and the gunman as they scuffled during a confrontation in the Bronx.
Ashley Southall, Ali Watkins, Chelsia Rose Marcius and Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.