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Ex-New York Officer Held in Shooting Spree

Crime: Dismissed from the force over a drug offense, he allegedly fired at people from his apartment, wounding a preschool teacher.

October 03, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A former police officer shooting from his apartment window wounded a preschool teacher taking children to a playground during a three-hour spree in a sprawling housing complex.

Arresting officers found Brian Berrigan, 33, sitting at a table inside his fourth-floor apartment at Stuyvesant Town, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

He was "crying like a baby" when police entered his apartment to take him into custody, said one officer at the scene. Police found other weapons inside the apartment.

During the attack, bullets crashed through windows and into parked cars, grazing the shoulder of the 22-year-old teacher, whose name was not released. There was no indication that the shooter knew the teacher.

None of the children from the Manhattan Kids Club preschool was injured, and the teacher was released from Bellevue Hospital after treatment, Kelly said.

At least 20 shots were fired, including one at a police car.

"He was firing at windows. He fired at people. He fired at the police vehicle," Kelly said.

Police cordoned off sections of the sprawling development as officers in helmets and bulletproof vests searched for the shooter. Berrigan was taken to a police station for questioning. An officer for two years, he was dismissed in 1997 after a routine drug test detected cocaine in his system, Kelly said.

Charges against the former officer were pending.

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