MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (AP) - A police officer was apparently shot accidentally and died following a confrontation Saturday night between officers and a knife-wielding man inside a home in a New York City suburb where he lived with his parents, police said. The suspect was also killed.
The Nassau County officer died at Nassau University Medical Center following the struggle with a 27-year-old man armed with "big Rambo type knives," said Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, the Long Island police department's chief spokesman.
"It appears that it might have been an accidental shooting," Smith told Newsday. Smith did not immediately return a telephone call to The Associated Press seeking comment Saturday.
Police did not release the names of the officer or the suspect, but said no other officers were injured.
Police responded to a 911 call at around 8:20 p.m. in Massapequa Park, nearly 40 miles east of Manhattan. Theresa Kelly, who lives nearby, told Newsday she was backing out of her driveway when the suspect, wearing dark clothing and a hockey mask, jumped on the hood of her car.
"He got a good laugh out of scaring me," said Kelly, 71. "I thought he wanted to get into my car, so I called 911."
Kelly said she followed the man in her car as he ran away and told police where he was, then watched an officer with a gun go inside the house.
"A minute later, I heard three shots," she said.
As police arrived, the man barricaded himself inside and hid in a bedroom, Smith said. Soon after the home was evacuated, the suspect burst out of the bedroom holding the knives and was shot as he charged at the officers, he said.
It was the second line-of-duty death of a Nassau County officer so far this year.
Highway patrolman Michael Califano was killed Feb. 5 when a truck slammed into his police cruiser in Old Westbury, N.Y.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com