Thursday, June 21, 2007

NY Daily News: A Former Auxiliary is Shot by Queens Cops by Mike Jaccarino and Jonathan Lemire...

A former Queens auxiliary police officer whose battles with alcohol sent his life into a downward spiral was shot by cops yesterday on the same streets he used to patrol.

Police fired 32 bullets at Armando Dominguez, 49, after he drunkenly waved a realistic-looking pellet gun at eight officers who kept ordering him to drop it, a police source said.

"I told him many, many times that you shouldn't have that [gun]," said his brother Carlos Dominguez, 44. "I told him that he was an auxiliary cop and that doesn't look good on you."

"But I'm not at all surprised at this kind of outcome," the Honduran immigrant said, as his brother struggled to survive at Jamaica Hospital.

Moments before he was shot, Armando Dominguez ignored the guns pointed at him and picked up a dropped police radio so he could pretend to be a cop calling in a drug bust, a police source said.

"He's often drinking and gets a little bugged out," said neighbor Jose Rosario, 32. "He's wrong, you're not supposed to have [a gun], even if it's a BB gun."

Five police officers, two sergeants and one lieutenant all opened fire on Dominguez, a police source said. The lieutenant suffered a graze wound amid the gunfire. Police did not reveal how many shots hit Dominguez.

Dominguez enlisted as an auxiliary cop with the 115th Precinct in March 1986 but was dismissed from the volunteer job the following year, a police source said. In the next two decades, as his drinking became worse, he bounced from odd job to odd job before landing work as a Snapple truck driver, neighbors said.

But he lost that job six months ago and began drinking more heavily. He rented an apartment from his brother but failed to pay rent for 18 months, forcing his sibling to turn off his electricity.

In the hours before he was shot, Dominguez was stumbling through the working-class neighborhood with his pellet gun in a shoulder holster, angrily slurring at those who approached him, neighbors said.