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Man dies, 2 officers hurt in NYC gunfight

Associated Press / August 9, 2010

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NEW YORK — An argument at a block party escalated into gunfire, killing one man and wounding several others, including a police officer hit by a colleague, authorities said.

The gunfire erupted at about 3 a.m. yesterday in upper Manhattan, where two men had been arguing, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

One of the men fatally shot the other, Luis Soto, 22, of the Bronx, police said.

Five officers responded to the scene, and the gunman fired at them, Kelly said. Four of the five officers fired back in a barrage of more than three dozen shots. The gunman was hit multiple times and hospitalized in critical but stable condition, police said.

Two of the officers were shot. Officer Michael Tedeschi was hit in the chest, but the bullet, which came from another officer’s gun, struck his bullet-resistant vest.

When asked how one officer could have ended up in another’s line of fire, Paul Browne, police spokesman, attributed it to the confusion of the event.

“Officers were converging from different units in a tumultuous situation,’’ Browne said.

Tedeschi, 36, was expected to recover. The other wounded officer, Alfredo Vargas, 28, was hit in a hand.

Three other people were hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds. Two other officers suffered minor injuries.

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