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Two Officers Narrowly Escape Harm In Lower East Side Shootout With Alleged Gunman

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TWC News: Two Officers Narrowly Escape Harm In Lower East Side Shootout With Alleged Gunman
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A man was taken into custody Monday morning after a police involved shooting on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

The New York City Police Department says it all began when two officers approached Luis Martinez, 25, on Columbia Street around 1 a.m.

Investigators say Martinez turned and allegedly fired at them.

Officers Thomas Richards and Thomas Dunne, seen above, returned fire and chased Martinez, who police say shot at the officers two more times.

Martinez was shot in the leg.

Richards escaped serious injury when police say a bullet was deflected by the officer's gun belt.

"They're shooting at each other. This individual and the officers are shooting back and forth. They chase him into a building - 64 Baruch Drive - and follow a blood trail. Ultimately he's captured in an apartment," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told 710 WOR radio.

Police say they recovered a handgun from a trash compactor.

Four city police officers have been shot, one fatally, in the last two months.

"We're lucky again, another miracle," said Kelly. "If it had been up an inch, it would have been right into the officer's body. And this was a fully loaded 9mm handgun."

President Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association used the incident to push for more police officers on the streets.

"We're 7,000 officers short. We need help, and we need it now," said Lynch.

Both officers were taken to the hospital and released.

Martinez was still being treated for his wound on Monday.

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