"Two plainclothes transit cops shot a gunman dead on a crowded Bronx subway platform yesterday in a firefight that left their female partner wounded.
Officer Annmarie Marchiondo, 40, also working in civilian clothes, was shot three times - in the left foot, right ankle and right side just below her bulletproof vest. At least 18 shots were exchanged, and cops were investigating whether any of her wounds were the result of friendly fire.
Marchiondo, a 17-year veteran who grew up in Middle Village, Queens, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she was in stable condition, police said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Marchiondo and "police officers like her are the reason the New York City subways are the safest in memory."
The rush-hour shootout turned a routine commute into mayhem for riders on a southbound 4 train as it pulled into the 176th St. station a little after 5p.m.
The gun battle sent scores of passengers screaming in terror out of the elevated station and down to the street below, where passersby already were running for cover.
Investigators said the drama began when cops spotted Juan Calves, 51, and Anthony Vasquez, 43, standing between cars on the train.
A police source said the pair had been harassing riders. "They were acting like knuckleheads," he said.
Since nearly one in three between-car riders has outstanding warrants or is bent on wrongdoing, according to police statistics, the cops decided to chat with Calves and Vasquez.
Both men were ordered off the train, but Calves, who has done time for robbery and killed a man while imprisoned in Attica in 1984, didn't go quietly.
Once on the platform, he grabbed Marchiondo in a headlock, pulled a 9-mm. handgun as she struggled free and then opened fire, police said.
Detectives said Calves got off five rounds from a gun that had been stolen from a car in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002. Then the other two cops dropped him with a fusillade of 13 shots. Marchiondo's female partner fired eight times and her male partner five times.
"I heard it all, and at first I thought it was kids fooling around with firecrackers," said token booth clerk Arthur Menzies.
But he said he knew something serious had happened when more than a dozen frightened straphangers bolted through the turnstiles and down the stairs to Jerome Ave.
"They were just running, running really fast," he said. "Everything was topsy-turvy."
Charlotte Rivera, 34, a coffee shop supervisor with a clear view of the platform, said she saw a man in a bulletproof vest holding a gun on Calves while Marchiondo "was in the middle of the platform screaming."
She said Calves was "bleeding and shaking like in a convulsion ... then he stopped."
Police said Calves died on the spot. He had been paroled to immigration authorities in 2005 but because he came to the U.S. from Cuba, he was not deported.
Vasquez, who has 18 prior arrests, surrendered without a struggle.
The shootout brought dozens of cops to the station, which was closed for hours during the investigation.
"The police came so fast they almost fell on top of each other when they went up the stairs," said Jaccary Jangana, 8, who watched it all from the street.
Later, a line of cops carried Marchiondo, who was clad in a white T-shirt and jeans, down to a patrol car on the street, said Jason Ramos, 26.
"They had her arms and her legs and they were careful as they came down in kind of like a caterpillar line," he said.
Neighbors of Marchiondo's parents in Middle Village said a patrol car whisked the retired couple to St. Barnabas to see their daughter.
The neighbors remembered Marchiondo as a pleasant and friendly person who had moved away 13 years ago.
Mayor Bloomberg blamed the "plague of guns in the hands of criminals" for the cop's shooting and said Congress must help put tighter controls on them because "it's something we can't do ourselves."
"Nobody's trying to take away your Second Amendment rights to bear arms," the mayor said at St. Barnabas, but "we have to do something to get the guns out of the hands of criminals."
"Our officers are in the line of fire every day, and we should protect them," he said."
Yes. From one another. That aside...cops will always shoot innocent bystanders, including other cops...their tactics could not have been worse. They approach an illegal immigrant acting suspiciously, allow him to toss a headlock on one of them, and freak after discovering that he was packing a stolen gun.
So, instead of A.) Taking a long hard look at what additional training is necessary to prevent such goings on, or B.) Going full court press to remove illegal immigrants from the streets, Bloomberg...who doesn't want to take away YOUR 2nd Amendment rights but won't allow NY'ers to carry a gun so just TRY to figure THAT one out...wishes to magically do away with the criminal element who steal and buy illegal guns.
Since that can't happen as there will forever be a criminal element in society, the next best thing is to go after you, me, and our patriotic, law-abiding brethren, and disarm US so that criminals will not have any guns to steal. His lunatic ravings aside, he wants all guns not in the hands of law enforcement or special people like Chuck Schumer...who has a concealed carry permit and packs heat...or he'd be talking about cracking down on CRIMINALS and not the tools they employ.
Who else but a certifiable loon would think that penalizing the law abiding is going to keep guns out of the hand of criminals?
It is ALREADY illegal to use a stolen gun in a crime.
What ELSE does the man want from us?
Our guns. And he has a well-regulated private militia to do just that. But if they start shooting one another, he'll just go and blame us even more.