The suspect had allegedly been harassing and attempting to rob a woman he knew and opened fire on one of the officers at point blank range when they spotted his car, police said.
Minutes later, an officer in a marked NYPD patrol car spotted the Jeep and stopped it.
One of the officers was shot point blank with a semi-automatic weapon as he approached the suspect, and a gunfight ensued, police said.
O'Neill emphasized that the incident was not a traffic stop.
"The police officers were in pursuit of a vehicle when they knew there was an armed suspect in the car," he said.
The two officers were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center. The officer who was killed, identified as Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, was taken to the hospital in critical condition but later died, police said. The other officer, Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, was shot in the leg, and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The suspect, 35-year-old Manuel Rosales, was killed in the gun battle and was pronounced dead on the scene, police said. He has 17 prior arrests in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, and was the estranged husband of the woman who reported the break-in, O'Neill said.
Tuozzolo is a 19-year veteran of the police force and is the father to two young children, O'Neill said.