Glendale Man Fires At Cops, Then Himself
After firing shots at police officers and barricading himself inside his Glendale home, a 34-year-old man reportedly took his own life during a four-hour standoff on Sunday, Mar. 11.
Mark Vasquez, 34, was found by police in the bathroom of his 68th Street apartment with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest; he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.
Police said that Vasquez, a peace officer assigned to CUNY’s John Jay College, opened fire on police officers who came to the home at around 6:40 p.m. after receiving a call that the man had barricaded himself inside his second-floor apartment.
Law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation stated that Vasquez became distraught over marital difficulties with his wife and had sent her text messages in which he threatened to kill himself.
Shortly after his wife received the messages, police were contacted, and Police Officers Nicholas Cadavid and William Arata of the 104th Precinct- under the direction of Sgt. Peter Cassiere-responded to the home.
With the help of the building’s landlord, the officers entered the building and knocked on the door to the second-floor apartment, law enforcement sources said.
Upon identifying themselves as officers, authorities stated, Vasquez allegedly between five and six shots through the front door. No one was injured as a result of the gunfire.
Cadavid and Arata took cover from the shots, then evacuated residents from the first-floor apartment and took them to safety, law enforcement sources noted.
Additional police units rushed to the scene, including Patrol Borough Queens North, the NYPD Aviation Unit, Emergency Services Unit 10 (ESU), the Hostage Negotiation Team and the Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU). Also at the scene were Capt. Michael Cody, com- manding officer of the 104th Precinct, and Capt. John Travaglia, the precinct’s executive officer.
Members of the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) also assisted police in securing a perimeter around the 68th Street home. Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, told the Times Newsweekly that eight patrol units responded to the incident.
Scores of residents stood at the corner of Central Avenue and 68th Street and watched as police worked to try and convince Vasquez to come out.
After ESU and the Hostage Negotiation Team were unable to make contact with Vasquez, police said, officers were able to send surveillance equipment into the home to look for the man.
Just before 10 p.m., police sources said, the unmanned surveillance equipment located Vasquez in the bathroom. The standoff came to an end when officers walked into the home and found the man unconscious and wounded in the tub; he was pronounced dead at the location.
The handgun reportedly used by Vasquez and ammunition were found near his body.
Though they were not hit by the gunfire, Officers Cadavid and Arata were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Captain Cody commended the officers for their efforts to remove other residents from the home and keep them out of harm’s way.
An investigation is ongoing.