BRONX, New York -- A child was injured and a woman is in critical condition after they were apparently hit by police bullets during an altercation with a suspect in the Bronx, police sources tell Eyewitness News.
Sources said 12-year-old Gabriel Haze and 45-year-old Irene Perez were caught in the crossfire as NYPD Officer Juan Gomez fired 27 rounds at an armed suspect after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Gomez and his partner, Officer Brandon Gembecki, were patrolling in an unmarked police car when the suspect, 36-year-old Edwin Castillo, allegedly robbed two men at gunpoint in a building's lobby. Castillo allegedly fired one shot, but no one was hit.
Sources said Castillo, covering his face and carrying the backpack, then emerged and walked past Gomez and Gembecki's car.
Gomez, riding passenger side, then got out of the car. Police said Castillo turned around and fired one shot at Gomez before running down an adjacent road. Gomez started chasing and firing at him, and Castillo turned around and fired another shot before throwing the gun in a pile of garbage bags.
In total, Gomez fired 27 rounds, and Castillo fired three, police sources said.
During the encounter, Perez was hit in the abdomen and transported to the hospital. Doctors removed a bullet consistent with an NYPD 9mm round.
Haze, who was walking home from school with her mother, was hit by "several small metal fragments." She suffered minor injuries. The suspect was shot in the neck and foot, and neither officer was injured.
Police have yet to interview Gomez about the incident.
Colin Brown, Haze's grandfather, told Eyewitness News that his granddaughter is in good spirits, but his family is shocked.
"I keep crying all the time because I see the possibility of what could happen. She could lose her life too," said
The backpack containing what appeared to be a brick of narcotics was recovered when the suspect was arrested. The suspect is expected to face several charges.
Cop's bullets injure 12-year-old and woman during robbery: Sources