FBI Wanted To Interview NYPD Lieutenant Who Shot Self In Stomach

An off-duty NYPD lieutenant may have shot himself twice in the stomach to duck out of testifying against a friend caught up in the NYPD pay-to-play scandal, sources said.

Lieutenant Peter Salzone, who works at the 19th Precinct stationhouse on the Upper East Side, was rushed to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery Friday night and was expected to survive, sources said.

The shooting happened just after 4 p.m. on Cloverdale Blvd. near Kingsbury Ave. in Oakland Gardens, officials said.

Salzone, 45, had been alone inside his girlfriend’s apartment when he fired four shots at his stomach striking himself twice, police sources said.

His girlfriend returned to find him bleeding from the gut and started screaming for help, a neighbor said.

First responders arrived within minutes, and, as the girlfriend yelled at them to “Hurry!”, carried the wounded cop onto a gurney and into an ambulance, said the neighbor, who declined to give her name.

The neighbor said the cops was awake, and wasn’t crying or screaming despite the bloody injury. “He was silent,” the neighbor said.

Salzone’s girlfriend rode next to him on the way to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island, where he was in critical but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit, sources said.

The circumstances surrounding the self-inflicted shooting were far from clear Friday night.

Salzone, who served as the 19th Precinct’s Integrity Control Officer, was close with Deputy Inspector James Grant, police sources said.

Grant was indicted in June as part of a mushrooming NYPD corruption scandal.

While Salzone has not been called as a witness against Grant, the FBI had requested to interview him, sources said.

“(The Feds) wanted to interview him and now this happens,” the source said.

Grant, the precinct’s commanding officer, has been charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has charged that Grant was at the beck and call of wealthy de Blasio donors doing them favors in exchange for gifts and bribes.

As Integrity Control Officer, Salzone would have been responsible for keeping the precinct’s officers honest, monitoring overtime and sick days, and ensuring that cops complete their full tours of duty.

In May, NYPD Inspector Michael Ameri shot himself to death amid the federal corruption probe.

The decorated 44-year-old cop had been questioned twice by FBI agents in the days before his death, sources said.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that Ameri was not a target of the inquiry, and that the reason for his suicide was unclear.

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  1. The off-duty NYPD lieutenant who shot himself in the stomach Friday afternoon was recently told by the feds that they wanted to question him as a “witness” in their ongoing investigation of NYPD corruption, DNAinfo New York has learned.

    Lt. Peter Salzone, who fired several bullets into his stomach, was a longtime associate of indicted Deputy Inspector James Grant, who along with other police officials is accused of accepting gifts and lavish favors from two allegedly corrupt businessmen with close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    Salzone is the second officer to shoot himself, apparently in connection with the corruption scandal.

    Last May, Inspector Michael Ameri, the well-respected head of the NYPD’s Highways Division, killed himself after he was questioned by federal investigators as a possible witness in the case, after being suspected of obtaining police escorts for friends.

    Sources say Salzone met Deputy Inspector Grant while Grant was the commanding officer of the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park.

    When Grant was transferred to run the 19th Precinct on Manhattan’s Upper East Side several years ago, he brought Salzone with him, sources say.

    Salzone served as the 19th Precinct’s Integrity Control officer, overseeing actions of fellow officers in the command to ensure that they were not violating any department regulations or protocols.

    A 23-year veteran, Salzone was at his girlfriend’s home in Bayside when he fired four shots, at least two striking him in the stomach.

    In an unusual move, the NYPD early Saturday morning placed Salzone on modified assignment, stripping him of his weapons and badge, while he was unconscious and being treated for his self-inflicted gunshot wounds at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island.

    The sources could provide no other explanation yesterday as to why Salzone would try to harm himself other than the recent development involving the feds.

    “The job and their image means everything to some people,” one source said, trying to explain why an officer who was only a “witness” in a case might still shoot himself. “It’s about appearances, and perhaps the guilt of having to talk about close associates or friends.”

    Grant, Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, and two businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, have been charged by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office in the sweeping NYPD and political scandal. Rechnitz has become a cooperating informant for the government.

    Federal prosecutors have separately subpoenaed several top officials in the Mayor’s office as well as in Mayor de Blasio’s campaign fundraising apparatus.

    In addition to Grant and Harrington, NYPD Sergeant David Valenueva and Officer Richard Ochetal have been arrested on charges that they providing gun permits to unqualified applicants in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes.

    A handful of other top NYPD officials have also retired in connection with the corruption probe.

    And Norman Seabrook, former head of the correction officers union, and Murray Huberfield, a hedge fund operator, have been charged with bribery-related charges in yet another aspect of the probe involving pension funds.

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