A firefighter wounded by a gang member at the start of a six-hour standoff with police in Staten Island was released Saturday from a hospital, authorities said.
FDNY Lt. Jim Hayes was shot at about 6 a.m. Friday, when firefighters responded to a report of smoke in a building where U.S. Marshals were attempting to execute a parole violation warrant against Garland Tyree, 38, a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
Hayes went into a basement apartment in the building to look for people inside and found Tyree hiding in the shower. That's when Tyree allegedly opened fire, hitting Hayes in the buttocks and ankle.
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A neighbor of Hayes, Fran Kezner of Livingston, New Jersey, said the firefighter was "hardworking man who raised two great kids with his wife," SILive.com reported. Kezner also said Hayes helped out during Hurricane Sandy when her home was flooded. Hayes comes from a family of civil servants with three brothers who are all firefighters, SILive.com noted.
This was the first time a firefighter has been shot on-duty in 21 years, according to SILive.com.
During his 31 years as a firefighter, Hayes was a part of the rescue and recovery efforts for the 9/11 attacks, a FDNY spokesman told SILive.com.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that Hayes ran from the apartment and didn't realize that he had been shot until he was outside. Police then moved to set up a perimeter, and Tyree fired two more shots.
Heavily armed tactical teams and uniformed officers alike then swarmed the house, which was relatively quiet for more than 6 hours. They set up a line of communication with Tyree at about 7:40 a.m. and negotiators worked with the man.
Tyree told negotiators that he would only surrender if his mother were there, Lieutenant Jack Cambria, the chief hostage negotiator of the NYPD, said at a news conference Friday. Although she was in Delaware, police managed to race her up to Staten Island on an NYPD helicopter and bring her to the scene in Mariners Harbor.
Tyree's mother was coached by police on what to say and joined his girlfriend and negotiators at the scene. The mother and son spoke and said they loved one another. Tyree then agreed to surrender, police said.
"I'm coming out, Mama," he said.
As he was coming out of the apartment, Tyree fired numerous rounds at police, hitting police cars and a neighbor's house, according to Assistant Chief Harry Wedin. Police fired back, and Tyree was found dead behind the apartment. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, according to police.
A 6 a.m. post on Tyree's Facebook page included the message "Today I die." Police said writings about gang activity were also on the Facebook page.
A smoke bomb was recovered at the scene, as well as a number of magazines and the AK-47 that Tyree used to fire at officers.
Tyree had been arrested 18 times and was out of federal prison on parole after previously violating another parole order, according to federal records. He had a violent history with weapon charges connected to a murder case and subsequently was convicted of two slashing assualts while in custody—one with a razor while aboard a correctional bus and another so vicious the other inmate received 60 stitches, the Associated Press reported.