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Two New York police officers shot in leg in separate encounters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two New York City police officers were shot in the leg late Thursday in separate incidents, including a shooting aboard a subway train, police said.

Two plainclothes officers aboard a subway train headed toward Manhattan from Brooklyn at about 7:30 p.m. EST (0030 GMT) asked a man walking between train cars for identification, said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in a statement.

The man appeared to be reaching for his wallet but instead pulled out a 9-mm Taurus handgun and opened fire.

Officer Lukasz Kozicki, 32, was struck once in each of his upper thighs and once in the groin, Kelly said.

His partner, officer Michael Levay, 27, was shot in the lower back but protected by his bulletproof vest. Levay returned fire and killed the gunman, Kelly said.

A passenger in the subway car suffered a graze wound in the leg, he said.

Roughly an hour earlier on Thursday, police officer Juan Pichardo was working off duty at his family's car dealership in the Bronx when two men attempted an armed robbery. In a struggle with one of them, Pichardo was struck by a bullet in the right thigh.

The wounded officer held the gunman for arresting officers, who took him into custody and later arrested the other man and another accomplice, Kelly said.

The officers were being treated at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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