Retired NYPD cop is accidentally shot dead by a friend


Thomas Marrinan, 57, was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the man, 33, in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

Thomas Marrinan, 57, was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the man, 33, in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

A retired NYPD cop was accidentally shot dead by a friend as the pair tried to stop a man harassing an 86-year-old in a Brooklyn street on Monday night. 

Thomas Marrinan, 57, was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the man, 33, in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm. 

According to NBC New York, an employee of Korner Pizza called Marrinan for help because of an alleged drunk at the store.

The brawl spilled out onto Church Avenue and East 3rd Street and in front of an abandoned drug store, where Velasquez, 53, pulled out his gun and fired a single shot, police said. 

The bullet hit the 33-year-old man, identified in local media as Michael Soto, in the right arm, and hit Marrinan in the chest. 

Marrinan was rushed to Maimonides Medical Centre by EMS, where he was pronounced dead about two hours after the shooting.

‘At one point, the 57-year-old male and another male, who is 53 years old, came to the aid of the 86-year-old,’ NYPD Deputy Chief Joseph Gulotta said in describing the incident. 

‘The two males who are in their 50s confronted the 33-year-old and a physical fight ensued.’

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Retired NYPD cop Thomas Marrinan, 57, was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the 33-year-old in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

Retired NYPD cop Thomas Marrinan, 57, was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the 33-year-old in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

Thomas Marrinan, 57, was rushed to hospital after being shot in the chest on Monday night

Thomas Marrinan, 57, was rushed to hospital after being shot in the chest on Monday night

He was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the 33-year-old in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

He was killed in the fight that broke out when he and pal Robert Velasquez confronted the 33-year-old in a pizzeria in Kensington around 7pm

The brawl spilled out onto Church Avenue and East 3rd Street, where Robert Velasquez, 53, pulled out his gun and fired a single shot, police said

The brawl spilled out onto Church Avenue and East 3rd Street, where Robert Velasquez, 53, pulled out his gun and fired a single shot, police said

Soto was also taken to the hospital in stable condition and taken into custody after the incident. He has not been charged. Police said an investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

The NYPD told DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning that there are no current updates on the investigation.

Footage of the aftermath shows Marrinan being loaded into a waiting ambulance as his distraught wife looks on. 

Cops are then seen arresting a shirtless man with a bloodied right arm, believed to be Soto. 

Church Avenue and East 3rd Street in Brooklyn where retired cop Thomas Marrinan was shot

Church Avenue and East 3rd Street in Brooklyn where retired cop Thomas Marrinan was shot

Blood from the incident was still on the scene as of Tuesday morning

Blood from the incident was still on the scene as of Tuesday morning

An employee of Korner Pizza called Marrinan for help because of an alleged drunk

An employee of Korner Pizza called Marrinan for help because of an alleged drunk

Velazquez can also be heard saying ‘Stay with me’ as Marrinan was being loaded into the ambulance, according to the New York Post. 

Witness Denzel Smith said he saw two men, one of whom identified himself as a retired police officer, arguing on the street Monday as he was waiting for a bus nearby. 

He said a young man was cursing at an older gentleman who was sitting on a bench before the retired cops got involved.  

Blood can be seen on the ground along with a face mask where a struggle took place

Blood can be seen on the ground along with a face mask where a struggle took place

The Marrinan family that lives around the corner from the shooting placed a message to the media at their apartment building

The Marrinan family that lives around the corner from the shooting placed a message to the media at their apartment building

Smith added: ‘They were arguing with the younger guy in the street,

‘The guy said, “I’m going to get you. I’m going to shoot you.” The other guy said, “I’m a retired cop.”‘ 

‘This is a safe neighborhood. And it shocked me to know this … fighting and a shooting,’ Smith said. 

Witnesses said Thomas Marrinan was seen arguing with a man outside the pizzeria around 7pm on Monday night, before his friend fired the fatal shot

Witnesses said Thomas Marrinan was seen arguing with a man outside the pizzeria around 7pm on Monday night, before his friend fired the fatal shot

Police rushed to the scene and took Marrinan to Maimonides Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead

Police rushed to the scene and took Marrinan to Maimonides Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead

Police cordoned off the corner where the incident took place in order to carry out an investigation

Police cordoned off the corner where the incident took place in order to carry out an investigation

Another witness, Regina Uddin, said police were giving Marrinan treatment and shouting ‘”Wake up! Wake up!” But he wasn’t responding.’

‘The other guy was sitting there handcuffed. [Soto] was shot in the arm, and the cops dragged him to an ambulance.’ 

She added the retired officer was ‘a sweetheart’ and said he was ‘the sweetest guy I’ve ever known.’

Marrinan had retired from his post at Transit District 30 in 2015 after 23 years of service. 

Friend Alan Dubrow said: ‘He was known as Tommy Donuts, because everywhere he went, he brought donuts.

‘I’m really upset. Tommy is just a swell guy. It’s a real tragedy… he was always looking out for the neighborhood.’  

The 33-year-old man involved in the incident was arrested at the scene but has not been charged, police said

The 33-year-old man involved in the incident was arrested at the scene but has not been charged, police said 

Police said one shot was fired by Robert Velasquez. It hit Michael Soto, 33, in in the right arm and his pal Thomas Marrinan in the chest

Police said one shot was fired by Robert Velasquez. It hit Michael Soto, 33, in in the right arm and his pal Thomas Marrinan in the chest

Witnesses said police and emergency services attempted to revive Thomas Marrinan at the scene of the shooting but were unable to

Witnesses said police and emergency services attempted to revive Thomas Marrinan at the scene of the shooting but were unable to

Police said an investigation into the bizarre incident is ongoing

Police said an investigation into the bizarre incident is ongoing

Thomas Marrinan was a retired transit officer. He left the force in 2013 after 23 years of service

Thomas Marrinan was a retired transit officer. He left the force in 2013 after 23 years of service

Police cordoned off the site of the incident on Monday night as tributes for a retired police officer who was killed flooded in

Police cordoned off the site of the incident on Monday night as tributes for a retired police officer who was killed flooded in 

The area was closed to traffic into the evening as police started an investigation into the incident

The area was closed to traffic into the evening as police started an investigation into the incident

Some neighbors said Soto was known as a ‘troublemaker’ in the neighborhood. 

Attempts by DailyMail.com to contact the Marrinan family were not returned.

At their home, however, they did post a note on the door, calling it a ‘very difficult time.’

‘Please give our family time and space to grieve,’ the note form the Marrinan family reads. 

Condolences were pouring in on Tuesday morning over Twitter in the aftermath of Marrinan’s death.

‘Even after he retired, he continued to protect his fellow New Yorkers. Rest in peace, Tommy,’ tweeted NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea. 

‘Our hearts are heavy today standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow cops in the @NYCPBA as we all morn the tragic death of Thomas Marrinan, a retired officer and PBA Delegate,’ tweeted the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

‘Loved by the community and his brothers and sisters in blue, Thomas will be sorely missed.’

NYPD Transit also tweeted about the loss, saying ‘We’re saddened to learn of the passing of retired Transit Police Officer Tommy Marrinan. He left a positive and indelible mark during his years of service in Transit District 30, and those who worked alongside Tommy will never forget the care he took in looking out for everyone.’

The shooting death came as New York City continues to battle a surge in gun violence this year. 

NYPD data shows gun violence and shooting victims continue to surge in New York City even as the number of murders fell from 13 in 2020 to six in 2021 for the week of May 24 to May 30. That marks a 52.8 percent drop year-over-year.

There have been 173 total murders this year so far as of May 30, with just 147 by the same date in 2020 – marking a 17.7 percent increase year-over-year.

The murder rate appears to have fallen some year-over-year for the week of May 24 to May 30 compared to earlier weeks in April and May.

Church Avenue and East 3rd Street in Brooklyn where blood from the incident is on the scene

Church Avenue and East 3rd Street in Brooklyn where blood from the incident is on the scene

The NYPD told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that there are no updates on the investigation

The NYPD told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that there are no updates on the investigation

Someone is seen waiting for the bus right in front of where Monday night's shooting happened

Someone is seen waiting for the bus right in front of where Monday night’s shooting happened

NYPD data shows that for the week of May 5 to May 9, there were nine murders in New York City – compared to two in 2020, marking a 350 percent increase year-over-year.

By that time, there were a total of 146 murders in New York City in 2021 compared to 115 by the same date in 2020, a 27 percent increase.

It was not immediately clear why the murder rates appear to be declining again even as the city continues to grip with the alarming spate of gun violence. 

The brawl spilled out onto Church Avenue and East 3rd Street to an abandoned drug store

The brawl spilled out onto Church Avenue and East 3rd Street to an abandoned drug store

Pictured: Korner Pizza on Tuesday morning, the day after Monday night's deadly incident

Pictured: Korner Pizza on Tuesday morning, the day after Monday night’s deadly incident

The NYPD recorded 35 shooting victims from May 24 to May 30, up 45.8 percent from the 24 shooting victims for the same period in 2020. 

So far this year there have been a whopping number of 637 shooting victims by May 30, with just 360 by the same point last year, an increase of 76.9 percent.

The number of shooting incidents were also up 43.5 percent in 2021 from 2020 for the May 24 to May 30 recording period. There were 33 shooting incidents in 2021 compared to 23 shooting incidents in 2020 for that timeframe.

There have been 564 shooting incidents so far this year compared to just 318 last year, for an increase of 77.4 percent.



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