An off-duty NYPD lieutenant, targeted by three ski-mask-wearing bandits as he left a Queens nightclub, killed one attacker and wounded a second in a wild gunfight where he was shot in the torso and leg early Thursday, police said.
Lt. Nathan Yakubov, a 15-year veteran, was in critical but stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital after the fierce shootout where 17 bullets were fired in the darkness. Yakubov was conscious and alert, with police sources indicating his wounds were non-life threatening.
“He has multiple gunshot wounds,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea a at hospital news conference. “He is lucky to be alive.”
A 20-year-old would-be mugger was shot in the chest and stomach in the shootout outside the club La Boom in Woodside and later died at Elmhurst Hospital. The other two crooks fled the scene, perhaps in a car, with wounded suspect Christian Cruz, 18, later arrested when he showed up at a Bronx hospital, sources said.
Cruz had earlier fled an urgent care facility after a staffer said his gunshot wound require a call to police, the sources said. The third crook remains on the run.
“We believe these individuals were attempting to rob the officer, possibly of jewelry the officer was wearing,” said Shea. “Moments later there was an exchange of gunfire between the officer and at least one of the perpetrators.”
The commissioner also said the attempted robbery was similar to a series of recent holdups already under investigation.
“There is a citywide pattern of individuals going to nightclubs, wearing jewelry, coming out, being targeted,” said Shea. “(This) would certainly fit the existing pattern we have.”
A source said the shot cop was still wearing a gold chain after the shooting and investigators were trying to determine if any jewelry was stolen.
Yakubov was walking to his Jaguar parked outside the club on Northern Blvd. near 57th St. when confronted by the trio just before 3:10 a.m., authorities said. The 40-year-old Queens resident was visiting the club after finishing his night shift in Brooklyn at midnight.
The off-duty lieutenant from the 71st Precinct fired eight shots, sources said, while the crooks squeezed off nine.
The slain mugger’s weapon, a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine that can hold up to 30 bullets, was recovered at the scene, a police source said. The slain criminal had one prior New York City arrest, an assault bust in Manhattan’s 1st Precinct on Feb. 19, 2020.
The NYPD is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the last fugitive in the botched robbery attempt.
The hold up may be connected to a recent spate of crooks targeting club and restaurant patrons for their pricey jewelry.
Just last week, a suspect was arrested in a similar late-night robbery where a man was killed for his new Cartier watch outside a lounge in Upper Manhattan. Police said previously that killing was linked to a crew — known as OED, for Own Every Dollar — behind about a dozen robberies in Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.
The Trinitarios gang is also believed to be involved in the pattern, with the bandits netting at least $4 million in jewelry and watches so far during the lucrative crime spree.
Police body cam footage from officers arriving at the early Thursday shooting shows that FDNY medics saved the bleeding cop’s life with their quick response.
credit to nydailynews.com