New York City police officer killed pursuing suspect in East Harlem
A man aiming a handgun (Shutterstock)

A New York City police officer was shot and killed late on Tuesday while pursuing a suspected armed robber close to a busy road in the city's East Harlem neighborhood, police said on Tuesday.

Officer Randolph Holder was shot around 8:30 p.m. local time in an exchange of gunfire near the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive, a major route through Manhattan, having responded to calls from residents reporting hearing shots in the area.

One person said an he was the victim of armed robbery while riding his bike, the New York City Police Department said.

The critically wounded officer was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was the fourth NYPD officer to be killed in the line of duty in the past year.

Holder, 33, a native of Guyana, was a five year veteran of the force, authorities said.

"When the call comes, he ran towards danger," Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a late Tuesday news conference.

A wounded suspect was arrested about four blocks from the shooting, a law enforcement official said, but it was unclear if that person was being held on suspicion of killing the officer.

According to the New York Times, the neighborhood, which contains several large housing projects, has suffered an uptick in violence in recent months.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive, or FDR, a busy route along the east side of Manhattan, was partially closed in both directions for several hours as police investigated.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)