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Posted: 10/20/2004 9:34:40 PM EST


www.nydailynews.com/front/story/244281p-209199c.html

Deli clerk killed when ex-cop drops gun

BY KERRY BURKE, OREN YANIV and TAMER EL-GHOBASHY
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

A Queens grocery store clerk was killed when a retired NYPD detective's licensed pistol fell from his waistband and fired, cops said yesterday.

Manuel Chamelta, 18, collapsed behind a deli counter after the bullet exploded into his chest at 11:50 p.m. Monday as he worked in the Astoria Food Mart, cops said.

"Why did you shoot me?" Chamelta gasped, according to a witness. "Why did you shoot me?"

Chamelta, a recent immigrant from Mexico and father of a young son, was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he died.

The detective, identified by sources as John Malik, told investigators that the shooting was a freak accident.

Malik said he was reaching for his pager, which had just gone off, when his gun fell off his hip and discharged, law enforcement sources said. "It appears to be an accident," said an NYPD official. "We do not believe there is any criminality at this time."

But Chamelta's father was searching for answers yesterday. While he did not dispute the police account, he said he wanted to know more. "I would like to know exactly what happened," said Noe Chamelta, 40.

Last night, Juan Garcia-Perez, a clerk who was working at the time of the shooting, said Malik immediately called 911 after his gun fired. "The guy comes in every day," said Garcia-Perez, 41. "He used to joke to Manuel about shooting him. He used to point at him with his hand and finger. But he never took out his gun."

Garcia-Perez said his view was blocked Monday night and he did not see what happened.

After calling 911, Malik told Manuel: "'Don't move. Don't move,'" according to Garcia-Perez, who added: "He said it was an accident."

No arrests were made. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the case was under investigation. "No conclusions have been reached about criminal charges," Brown said.

Manuel Chamelta moved to New York from Mexico City two years ago to earn enough money to support his girlfriend and 3-year-old son back home, his father said.

He dreamed of building a home for his family in Mexico, and for the past year had been working at the Astoria store on 31st St. "doing everything," said co-worker Kai Getbam.

Malik, who according to police sources retired in 2002, lives near the market and is a former Marine with two grown sons. "He is very sweet," said Ana Noboa, 66, who works at a local dry cleaners. "Everybody is upset because it's not supposed to happen."

Malik said last night, "I'd like to speak, but my attorney said to make no comment. I'm sorry."

As he made preparations to send his son's body back to Mexico for burial, Noe Chamelta called for a full investigation. "They have to do something," he said. "I don't know how to feel now. I'm very disappointed with everything."
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:35:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:38:24 PM EST
Damn, that just sucks for everyone involved.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:38:49 PM EST
Sad.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:40:33 PM EST
Was he carring a old single action revolver w/ all the holes filled?
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:44:22 PM EST
Damn
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:45:00 PM EST
That is why you rest your hammer on a empty.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:48:16 PM EST
I don't know a gun shot some one all by itself?
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 9:48:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 9:49:19 PM EST by leelaw]
uh.. so it just "went off" huh?



I'm sure it didn't "go off" when he was picking it back up and his finger just happened to get in the trigger guard..


ETA:

"He used to joke to Manuel about shooting him. He used to point at him with his hand and finger.
Uh huh.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:04:17 PM EST
The news story didn't say what kind of gun it was. But most likely was due to some violation of firearms handling.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:16:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By leelaw:
uh.. so it just "went off" huh?



I'm sure it didn't "go off" when he was picking it back up and his finger just happened to get in the trigger guard..


ETA:

"He used to joke to Manuel about shooting him. He used to point at him with his hand and finger.
Uh huh.



+1
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:24:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2004 10:25:08 PM EST by NightWatchman]
What kind of POS was he packing?

I bet he pulled the trigger unless he was carrying some old POS gun and it fell and wnet off.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:28:30 PM EST
He should go to jail.

Link Posted: 10/20/2004 10:32:42 PM EST
Messed up any way you figure it !
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:27:58 AM EST
At least the (ex-)cop went home safely.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:31:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Kaliburz:
Was he carring a old single action revolver w/ all the holes filled?



Walther PPK series will fire if dropped. We have had two negligent shooting involving the PPK series in my agency.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:33:16 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:33:50 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 2:34:00 AM EST
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