Officers shoot man with knife at 109th

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A Flushing man was hospitalized and awaiting arraignment for attempted murder this week after being shot by police at the 109th Precinct station house for allegedly stabbing a man and lunging at an officer, authorities said.

Chaos broke out inside the 109th Precinct last Thursday morning when officers opened fire at 38−year−old Armando Torres, who allegedly attacked a civilian with a kitchen knife outside the Flushing station house, police said.

Two detectives and a uniformed officer from the 109th Precinct fired five shots at Torres moments later when he allegedly moved threateningly toward

one officer, police said. Torres was struck once in the chest and once in the left arm and was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he remained in stable condition Tuesday.

Police charged Torres with attempted murder and weapons possession, but he had not been arraigned as of Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident took place shortly after 11 a.m. when Torres of 147−25 Northern Blvd., approached an unidentified man who was standing outside the precinct, at 37−05 Union St., and stabbed him in the back and slashed his left arm, police said. Torres, who has a prior police record for assaulting a police officer, then entered the station and lunged at an officer at the front desk, according to authorities.

Two 109th detectives and an officer retaliated by firing five shots, two of which struck Torres’ left arm and chest, police said. Both he and the stabbing victim, 48−year−old Armando Ferreira, were taken to New York Hospital Queens. Ferreira was treated and released later that day.

Authorities said two officers were also taken to the hospital, including Community Affairs Detective Kevin O’Donnell, but it remained unclear if this was precautionary or if they had been injured.

The victim was waiting at the station for a police accident report, police said. It was not known where Torres was coming from or why he allegedly assaulted the man, according to police. The investigation was ongoing.

The precinct was shut down while the police conducted their investigation.

Outside of Torres’ home after the shooting, neighbor Florencia Serrano, who has known the 38−year−old since he moved to the United States from El Salvador eight years ago, said she was shocked by the incident.

“Oh, my god, I don’t believe it,” Serrano said.

Serrano said Torres, who lived on the fifth floor, was known to have a drinking problem, but “he never caused any problems here.”

Torres’ apartment building played a role in another major crime in Flushing.

In January, the Queens district attorney said 41−year−old David Williams, who also lived in Torres’ apartment building, allegedly stabbed 78−year−old John Purcell; his 71−year−old wife, Joan; and 41−year−old Juhn Fook repeatedly with a large serrated knife next door at 147−15 Northern Blvd. before assaulting another man and eventually scuffling with police officers near the location.

John Purcell died of his injuries days later, and Williams is currently awaiting trial on second−degree murder charges.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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