Police arrested three career criminals allegedly involved in the shooting in Chelsea that left a 44-year-old man in critical condition early Sunday.
Captain Stephen Spatara of the Midtown South Precinct said the victim, identified by police sources as Robert Lowman, was shot six times in the torso, leg and groin while walking down W. 22nd St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. shortly before 1 a.m.
Plainclothes officers assigned to the Anti Crime Team in the neighborhood happened to be patrolling the block in an unmarked vehicle when several gunshots erupted behind them, Spatara said.
“I heard five loud noises, like ‘Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah!” said Milton Medina, 32, who lives near the scene and heard the gun blasts from his apartment. “It sounded like firecrackers.”
The cops then spotted Ramel Harkless run from the scene and jump into double-parked black Mercedes-Benz before it sped past them down the street.
The officers turned on their emergency lights and pursued the car as he blew through a red light at Park Ave. South as it turned south onto the avenue, Spatara said.
Around W. 19th St., the Mercedes driver driver slammed on the brakes, causing a minor car crash with the pursing cops. The officers radioed for backup and additional officers descended on the three suspects inside the sedan, officials said.
A silver and black semi-automatic handgun was found lying on the floor in the back of the car, police said.
Emergency responders rushed Lowman to Bellevue Hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. Police said all four men involved have extensive criminal histories.