"My son is not like this,” said Johnny Polanco, father of one of the two suspects in the robbery and shoot-out that left two cops wounded in New York City Monday night.
"I apologize to the families that my son affected by his actions," he told the New York Daily News, adding that the streets were responsible for steering his son Jason astray.
"The worst thing I ever did was bring him down to Decatur Ave.,” the man said. "He was a good kid before we moved to this forsaken block.”
Jason Polanco, 23, was arrested Tuesday along with Joshua Kemp, 28, after an intense manhunt. They allegedly robbed a deli and then got into a gunfight with five plainclothes cops.
According to the News, police are also trying to determine if Polanco and Kemp are involved a string of seven robberies in upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
Security video showed Polanco blasting away at the officers with a powerful .44 magnum pistol as they pursued him Monday night following the robbery in a Bronx grocery store, police said.
At a news conference, NYPD officials praised five officers for choosing to respond to the robbery report even though their shifts had ended and they were about to head home. The two wounded officers, Andrew Dossi and Aliro Pellerano, were hospitalized in stable condition.
"I commend them for their courage," Chief of Department James O'Neill said. "They were going home ... and they ended up getting into a fierce firefight."
The shooting came about two weeks after two officers were fatally shot while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn, and on the same day that the city touted record low crime levels.
Monday night's violence unfolded as officers who are part of an anti-crime unit spotted Kemp outside a Chinese restaurant and Polanco inside it.
When the officers got out of their car and approached Kemp, Polanco shot one round through the window of the restaurant, striking Kemp and one officer, police said. He went outside and fired two more shots and wounded the second officer; one officer returned three shots but missed.
Polanco ran away and car-jacked a white Camaro that he crashed a few blocks away, police said. He jumped out, ditched his gun and fled on foot, they said.
Investigators released video early Tuesday that prompted several tips from the public that led to Polanco's identification and capture, police said. Kemp was caught after seeking treatment for his wound at a hospital, which contacted police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.