A retired NYPD transit officer was accidentally shot dead by his friend while reportedly trying to help him defend his elderly father from being harassed.

On Monday, June 7, 57-year-old Thomas Marrinan, and his friend, Robert Velasquez, a retired city correction officer, rushed to a pizzeria in Kensington where Velasquez’s 86-year-old father was being harassed by a 33-year-old man, identified as Michael Soto, police said.

The friends confronted Soto and a fight broke out between them. The scuffle started inside the pizzeria and then spilled outside and continued down a block.

"They were arguing with the younger guy in the street," said 69-year-old Denzel Smith, who was waiting for a bus nearby.

During the fight, Velasquez pulled out his gun and opened fire at Soto striking him in the arm. The same bullet hit Marrinan in the chest.

"He fell down on the floor and his wife came running. She was hugging him, 'Tom, Tom, Tom,'" Sam Saied, owner of Magic Deli on the corner in Kensington, told reporters.

Police officers responded to the scene and began performing life-saving measures on Marrinan.

"The police were pumping Thomas, saying, 'Wake up! Wake up!' He wasn’t responding," Regina Uddin, a friend of the victim said. "The other guy was sitting there handcuffed. The crackhead was shot in the arm, and the cops dragged him to an ambulance."

"He never had any problems with anybody. He’s a really good person and I’m very upset," Uddin said. "I was crying. I was crying. I just hope he survives."

Emergency services rushed both men to Maimonides Hospital. Marrinan was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Soto was reported to be in stable condition. He was taken into custody after the incident, but no charges were made against him as of Monday night.

"Thomas is a retired transit cop and union delegate. He was known as Tommy Donuts, because everywhere he went, he brought donuts," said his friend, Alan Dubrow, a retired banker.

"I’m really upset. Tommy is just a swell guy. It’s a real tragedy," Dubrow added. "He was always looking out for the neighborhood."

Marrinan was a member of Transit District 30. He retired from the department in 2015 after 23 years on the job.

NYPD Representation image. Reuters