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Pharmacy holdup suspect shot and killed

An armed bandit who held up an East Harlem pharmacy for prescription painkillers and cash was shot and killed Thursday by a retired officer during a chaotic getaway, police said.

Rudolph Wyatt apparently was shot twice after he fled the pharmacy while attempting to fire a revolver, police said. His gun jammed, and no bullets were fired.

The robbery happened at about 11 a.m., when Wyatt and another suspect entered the pharmacy located on First Avenue at East 119th Street, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the New York Police Department. Six customers, including an infant, and three employees were inside the store.

Pharmacist Frank Wong said that a man brandishing a gun demanded Oxycontin and Percocet, two addictive painkillers. Everyone was told to cram behind the counter.

Wong gathered the drugs and handed them to the man. Meanwhile, another worker pushed a silent alarm.

But three patrol officers were already outside after a 911 call, as the robbery was in progress. Video shows the officers, guns drawn, telling the suspects to come out with their hands up. One man comes out and is grabbed by an officer, but Wyatt comes out with his gun drawn.

As Wyatt crosses First Avenue with the gun pointed behind him at the officers, one officer fires three times and misses, Browne said.

Wyatt continued to the other side of First Avenue near where he was confronted again -- this time by the armed retired police lieutenant. The 48-year-old former gang unit officer took cover and fired three times from 55 feet away, police said.

Wyatt collapsed on the street with gunshot wounds to the head and shoulder, Browne said. Police found $300 in his pocket, but no drugs.

During the confusion, the second suspect managed to slip away.