A gunman who killed two unarmed volunteer police officers and a bartender had been repeatedly kicked out of the pizzeria where the shootings began and may have been angry that a friend who worked there was fired, police said Thursday.
Wearing a fake beard, David Garvin gunned down the restaurant worker before leading police on a running gun battle through the crowded streets of Greenwich Village. He was shot dead by full-time police officers.
After the shooting stopped, Garvin's body lay bloodied and askew outside a shop on Bleecker Street, near New York University and close to several famous bars and restaurants, including Cafe Wha?, where Bob Dylan used to perform.
Garvin, 42, had been carrying two semiautomatic firearms and a bag with a fake beard and 100 rounds of ammunition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that Garvin had no psychiatric history, but a family member indicated he exhibited increasing paranoia in recent years, claiming that people were "out to get him."
"He was heavily armed and prepared to kill at will," Kelly said. He credited the auxiliary officers who were killed, Nicholas Todd Pekearo and Eugene Marshalik, with helping to prevent more carnage. Auxiliary officers are civilians who conduct patrols wearing uniforms nearly identical to regular police.
Andy Paul, a singer whose band was about to perform at a nightclub in the area, said people had flocked to the area's outdoor cafes to enjoy one of the first warm evenings of spring-like weather when the gunshots began.
The gunman "was running this way putting a new clip in," Paul said Thursday. "He turned around, firing at the cops."
"I hit the ground. I wasn't paying attention to anything. I just didn't want to get shot," he said.
The rampage began around 9:30 p.m. when Garvin went into a pizzeria, asked for a menu, then shot at an employee 15 times, authorities said. Family members identified the victim as Alfredo Romero, 35.
Kelly said Garvin was apparently a customer of the pizzeria and had been kicked out several times. He said police also were investigating whether he had been angry over the restaurant's recent firing of a friend.
Garvin fled after the shooting, and police who heard the shots radioed information about the gunman. Pekearo and Marshalik approached the gunman, who fired at them.
One of the officers ordered Garvin to drop a bag full of weapons. He did, but then he led them on a chase before turning on them, and shot Marshalik in the back of the head.
Police released surveillance footage that showed Pekearo ducking behind a car before he was fatally shot as Garvin hovered over him.
The rampage ended when came Garvin, who had holed up in a shop, came out firing at police, said Charles Jottras, who watched from his fourth-floor apartment window. Police shot the gunman dead
Authorities said Garvin shot about 26 rounds on the rampage.
In a search of Garvin's Bronx apartment, authorities found another weapon, a loaded .357-caliber revolver and about 100 rounds of ammunition, along with a wig, false mustache and knives, Kelly said.
Garvin had been a bartender at another Manhattan spot until last month, when he was fired, said Brian Barrow, manager of the Raccoon Lodge.
"It just wasn't working out as a bartender," he said. "There was no animosity."
Barrow said Garvin was "very soft-spoken. You'd never guess that he would turn around and kill three people but it seems that's usually the way it is."
Police also found a resume on Garvin's computer that listed jobs as a newspaper reporter, stringer and layout editor for The Wall Street Journal and Mohave Valley Daily News of Bullhead City, Ariz. Garvin was an information graphics coordinator for the Journal from 2000 to 2005, said Dow Jones spokesman Robert Christie.
Pekearo, 28, was a writer with a book scheduled to be published soon, the mayor said. Marshalik, 19, a student at nearby New York University, had emigrated from Russia, Bloomberg said.