Bullets whizzed through Times Square Thursday when a street hustler armed with a fearsome MAC-10 lost a gunfight with a veteran cop as tourists and shoppers screamed and dove for cover.
A hotel driveway at the Crossroads of the World was transformed into a wild shooting gallery at 11:15 a.m., prompting sightseers to turn their cameras from the bright lights to the bloodshed on Broadway.
Killed in a burst of gunfire was Raymond Martinez, 25, of the Bronx, who just moments before the shooting was trying to rip off tourists with a street scam involving illegal DVDs and CDs, cops said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said it was a miracle no innocent bystanders were caught in the crossfire that erupted in the most bustling part of the city. "We're lucky that ...the officer was prudent and no one else was in the immediate area," Kelly said.
In the aftermath of the violence, cops shuddered to think how much worse the incident could have been when they found a Virginia gun shop's business card on Martinez's body with an ominous handwritten note on the back.
"I just finished watching 'The Last Dragon,'" the note read. "I feel sorry for a cop if he think [sic] I'm getting into his paddy wagon."
He turned onto 45th St. and was cornered in the covered breezeway of the 1,900-room Marriott Marquis Hotel. Martinez spun and fired two shots at Newsom, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, before his gun jammed, police said.
Newsom, who had never fired his service weapon in the line of duty, crossed his left arm over his heart for added protection and squeezed off four rounds from about 7 feet away, cops said.
Martinez was hit at least three times, including once in the chest and arm, police said. Despite being gravely wounded, the gunman continued to fight as Newsom moved closer and yelled, "Stop! Stop! Show me your hands!"
"He was on the ground and he was still resisting," said British tourist John Grisewood, 65.
Martinez, who had been summonsed for illegal peddling in the same location earlier this year, was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The MAC-10 recovered from the scene had a 30-bullet magazine still loaded with 27 bullets.
I missed this by about ten hours or so. My folks and I went down to see the Christmas lights and were literally feet away from where this guy would meet his maker hours later. Not sorry I missed it nor am I sorry this POS is worm food