Those who live and work in the West Village were stunned when a midday arrest attempt in the neighborhood ended with the suspect dead, and two U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective in the hospital. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
West Fourth Street is known for a lot of things but generally not the type of chaos that broke out when gunfire erupted at a smoke shop.
Federal agents and a police officer were executing an arrest warrant for Charles Mozdir when cops say he opened fire.
Many who were walking in the busy West Village neighborhood stopped in their tracks as emergency workers raced to the scene.
"Helicopters...detectives," one passerby recalled seeing.
"There was a barrage of cars and officers with their heavy vests on and they said 'U.S. task force'...'fugitive,'" another said.
Onlookers were not sure what happened, but many whipped out their cell phones and started recording as others watched in shock.
Some thought it was a movie until they saw the injured officers. Mozdir was killed.
"I saw people being lifted on the ambulance," one onlooker said.
Tyler Maynard got to the scene late, but was stunned to hear that Mozdir—who was wanted in connection with a child molestation case in San Diego—was involved.
Mozdir was apparently working at the shop.
"He was very kind, very nice, very—I mean—very helpful, actually. So it just goes to show, you never know," Maynard said.
Mozdir was featured on a CNN show and the tips led law enforcement to the store.
Maynard says the whole incident makes him want to take a closer look at people.