The suspect, Michael Grimes, 41, was shot once in the leg and is currently in stable condition at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Police said Grimes walked into the 24-hour Golden Dove Diner in Eltingville at about 3:10 a.m. wearing a green camouflage mask and black hoodie. He allegedly pointed a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun and announced the robbery.
The police officers were sitting just two tables away. They identified themselves and approached the gunman. Police fired one shot inside the restaurant before the suspect fled. More rounds were exchanged outside, where Grimes was hit, The New York Times said.
The suspect got into a stolen, maroon 1996 Dodge Stratus, and took off through a parking lot onto Gurley Avenue. He got about a couple of miles away to Stone Lane in New Springville before he crashed into a fence at a dead-end, the Advance said.
Police said he tried to ditch the gun outside the car, along with a Yankees cap full of cash that may have come from an earlier armed robbery in Perth Amboy, N.J.
Grimes has a rather lengthy record of armed robberies, and even made it onto Staten Island’s top-10 most wanted list in 1994. But a family member told the Advance that Grimes had been working in construction recently, and seemed to have been going straight.