A gutsy cop saved the lives of her two partners yesterday when she shot and killed a psycho robbery suspect who had pulled a gun on the officers as they sat in an unmarked cruiser in Brooklyn, police said.
Michael Romero, 32 -- hiding a second gun, ammo and two stolen wallets stuffed with cash -- went after the plainclothes officers at around 2:15 p.m. after they tried to question him about a string of robberies in Sunset Park, including the mugging of a cop's mother.
"You want to see my ID?" the tattooed thug snarled.
"Here's my ID," he announced, pulling a loaded .357-caliber revolver from a bag around his waist and shoving it into the face of the car's driver, Officer Sean Kelleher.
While Kelleher struggled to wrest away the gun -- jamming his finger in the hammer to prevent it from discharging five bullets -- Officer Tara Hayes, a six-year NYPD veteran who was in the passenger seat, jumped out and ran around the front of the car.
She fired one round that went through Romero's shoulder to his chest.
Officer Daryl Fontaine, in the back seat of the car, simultaneously leaped from the vehicle and ran around to help cuff the mortally wounded Romero.
"She saved her partner's life, and possibly her own and that of a third officer with her unflinching, swift response," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Romero died a short time later at Lutheran Hospital.
He had at least 10 arrests in a criminal history dating back to 1995, including charges for robbery, possession of a defaced weapon, assault and grand larceny.
"He was a troublemaker and a thug," said one man who used to live in Romero's building on 71st Street in Bay Ridge, asking that his name not be printed. "I stayed away from him. I have my family here, and we were very afraid of him."
The officers, from the 63rd Precinct, had been patrolling an area in the 72nd Precinct as part of stepped-up enforcement after a string of robberies in the neighborhood, according to police.
The extra police presence is among a series of measures being taken by the NYPD in response to a startling spike in shootings, murders and other crimes citywide.
"I came out to go to the store, and I just saw a lot of police, a lot of detectives, and I just see the body on the floor," said Rosie Concepcion, 58, of Fifth Avenue.
Another neighbor said he heard the gunshot and soon saw the police handcuffing a man on the ground.
He added that the cops flipped the man over, and "he was obviously dead, because he had his head back, eyes open with blood all over his face."
Instances of female cops shooting a suspect on duty are rare in the city.
The most famous was Arlene Beckles, who shot three gunmen in a Brooklyn beauty-parlor shootout in 1994. Then-Police Commissioner William Bratton promoted her to detective afterward.
In April 1993, Officer Mary Capotosto of the 70th Precinct bravely went to the aid of a fellow cop who had been shot by a thug in a station house. The gunman shot Capotosto in the head, critically wounding her, before killing himself. Both cops survived.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/nypd_gal_killer_aim_is_lifesaver_m5FDQZsTaNn7COlUY2FNQJ#ixzz0jwcbk5XY
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