The cops managed to get a handle on the situation and made four arrests.
One of the two suffered a seizure after the incident and he and the other officer, reported to have sprained his shoulder, were taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where they were treated for several hours and then sent home.
The incident was a stark reminder of another stairwell search incident involving the NYPD — and the dangers cops worry about as they patrol city housing projects.
Last November, a rookie cop inside the Louis Heaton Pink Houses in East New York, fatally shot an unarmed 28-year-old, Akai Gurley, who was inside the building at 2724 Linden Boulevard visiting a female friend.
The lights were out in the stairway and as Gurley entered with the woman, Officer Peter Liang’s gun went off and a ricocheting bullet hit Gurley, an innocent man and father of a two-year-old.
Liang and his boss, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the Nov. 20 weapons discharge an accident. And sources told reporters that Liang was admittedly nervous.
Gurley’s death came amid the tumult of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and the choke hold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island when cops tried to bust him for selling loose cigarettes, or “loosies.”
Both men, like Gurley, were unarmed and black.
But unlike the cop who put Garner in a choke hold, Liang has since been indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges of manslaughter.
Some community leaders and Gurley’s family praised the indictment.
PBA President Pat Lynch noted the circumstances Liang faced: “The fact [that] he was assigned to patrol one [of the] most dangerous housing projects in New York City must be considered among the circumstances of this tragic accident,” he said after the indictment last month.