ONTD Political

Bronx man accidentally shot by cops looking for son speaks about unfortunate incident

7:20 pm - 02/06/2011
Source: NY Daily News

A 76-year-old Bronx man jarred from his sleep by someone pounding on his door about 3 a.m. had no idea he was seconds from a brush with death.

"Who is coming at this time?" Jose Colon thought as he jumped out of bed, scared and still wearing his pajamas.

Before he made it out of his bedroom, heavily armed cops broke down the front door and rushed into Colon's home looking for his son.

He stepped into the hallway and three things happened simultaneously.

A light flashed in his face. Cops yelled, "Don't move!" And a police bullet ripped into his midsection and came to rest near his pelvis.

"I see the light and I hear the bullet - all at the same time," he told the Daily News Saturday in his first public comments since the Jan. 22 shooting.

"When I see that the bullet hit me, I said, 'Please don't shoot! I've been shot!'" Colon said. "Then the police officer came to me and said, 'Don't move!' and he laid me down."

Colon said he lay on the floor thinking he was going to die.

"I think of my life," he said. "I think that God was with me. I was praying to the Lord. I was doing it in my mind."

Manhattan lawyers Alan Figman and Jonathan Weinrich filed a notice of claim, alerting the city and the NYPD of Colon's intent to sue. They're seeking at least $20 million. City officials couldn't immediately confirm the Friday filing.

Police sources said the light Colon saw likely came from a flashlight attached to a detective's 9-mm. semiautomatic handgun. Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.

Figman questioned the NYPD's version of events and said that McCormack should have prepared for an encounter in poor lighting, given the hour of the raid.

"Why not simply turn on the light before the door is battered in?" he argued.


Cops arrested Colon's son, Alberto Colon, 41, after finding a small stash of heroin inside the Soundview apartment.

The elder Colon, a longtime member of Bronx Community Board 2, was released from Jacobi Medical Center on Thursday. Doctors were not able to remove the bullet, despite performing a surgery that made an incision in his stomach that took 38 staples to close.

"I am going to be living with the bullet for the rest of my life," said Colon, fearing the wound will prevent him from returning to work for a Bronx nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless and mentally ill.

McCormack - whose father was an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty - is a member of the NYPD's elite Emergency Service Unit. He has been placed on administrative duty while police and the Bronx district attorney's office investigate.

The NYPD's top spokesman, Paul Browne, did not respond to emails seeking comment yesterday.

As Colon lay in the hospital and breathing with the aid of a respirator, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly came to visit. The wounded man doesn't remember them being there hours after the shooting.

His son Felipe Colon, who wasn't involved in the botched drug raid, said he spoke to Bloomberg.

"He said it was an unfortunate situation and that my father shouldn't be laying in that bed," the son recalled.
randomneses 7th-Feb-2011 01:56 am (UTC)
Surprise surprise, he's brown.
homasse 7th-Feb-2011 03:59 am (UTC)
Yup. -_-
bostongirl2003 7th-Feb-2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I know I always mistakenly fire a gun when I mean to turn on a flashlight. Happens to the best of us.
evildevil 7th-Feb-2011 03:06 am (UTC)
I once turned by flashlight and it shoot bullets. It was the darnest thing...
devour_theflesh 7th-Feb-2011 02:05 am (UTC)
omfg come on
normaltrouble 7th-Feb-2011 02:09 am (UTC)
...."He said it was an unfortunate situation and that my father shouldn't be laying in that bed,"...


Being in bed at 3 am at home is not an unusual, unwarranted or illicit activity.

Mr. Colon sounds like a very nice person, involved in his community, and probably tired from his work in that community! He deserves his sleep and ....grrrgggh.arrrrgh.

"Unfortunate situations!" Bah.

I hope Colon gets his money.

( and I know I am being brainwashed by The Wire, but the drug war ---what is it good for?)

( and yes, judgmental Pembleton icon is judgmental)

sailorangei 7th-Feb-2011 02:10 am (UTC)
The mayor meant the hospital bed.
erunamiryene 7th-Feb-2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.

IS THE "ON" SWITCH ON THE TRIGGER? NO? THEN YOUR FUCKING FINGER SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ON THE TRIGGER UNLESS YOU WERE PLANNING TO FUCKING SHOOT, DUMBASS.
celtic_thistle 7th-Feb-2011 05:18 am (UTC)
+infinity
brewsternorth 7th-Feb-2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Agreed. If it's true, it's spectacular incompetence; if it's the detective covering his backside for going in all-guns-blazing, it's an epic failsauce excuse. Either way, he should *not* be in charge of a firearm for the foreseeable future.
intrikate88 7th-Feb-2011 02:46 am (UTC)
What in fuck's name is your idea of gun safety if you can fucking shoot someone when TURNING ON A FLASHLIGHT??
sashwizzled 7th-Feb-2011 02:49 am (UTC)
So he wasn't planning to shoot anyone, but he just accidentally turned off the safety and then fired the gun at someone close range while trying to turn on the flashlight that for some reason wasn't on before he came in. Oh. I see. Makes perfect sense.

Fucking tool.
baked_goldfish 7th-Feb-2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Police sources said the light Colon saw likely came from a flashlight attached to a detective's 9-mm. semiautomatic handgun. Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.

So he's either a lying asshole who's trying to cover himself, or he's a complete incompetent who can't figure out how to turn on a flashlight without firing a weapon. Either way, remove him from the force.
sarken 7th-Feb-2011 07:03 am (UTC)
This. "I was trying to turn on my flashlight" is not an argument that says, "See! Keep me on the force!"
roseofjuly 7th-Feb-2011 11:05 am (UTC)
I'm betting on lying asshole on this one.
maladaptive 7th-Feb-2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
I keep hearing about cops who accidentally shoot people while trying to do something else - like reaching for the gun instead of a taser and killing someone. And people find this acceptable! Scares the bajeesus outta me.
24_24_1_1526 7th-Feb-2011 03:56 am (UTC)
first they don't know the difference between the weight of a taser and gun.
now they don't know the difference between a trigger and an 'on' switch.


color me surprised
homasse 7th-Feb-2011 04:00 am (UTC)
If you can't tell the difference between the on switch of your flashlight and the trigger of your gun, you shouldn't be allowed to use either one.
roseofjuly 7th-Feb-2011 11:06 am (UTC)
Why is the fact that his father is an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty even relevant? Just because his father might have been a good cop doesn't mean that he is nor does it mean that he should be given any leniency for not being able to find the fucking flashlight switch on his gun. Pretty sure knowing how to operate your gun properly is part of NYPD's job description.

And then they wonder why brown people's mantra is "Don't trust the police."
brewsternorth 7th-Feb-2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Why is the fact that his father is an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty even relevant?

IDEK. I know that NYDN's readership is mainly white; maybe they thought that little addition would forestall outraged LTEs accusing them of being anti-cop.
chaya 7th-Feb-2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.

Trigger discipline: do you have it?
watermeloncholy 7th-Feb-2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
New York City cops...seriously.

That's about all I have to say.
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