A 29-year-old man was killed Sunday afternoon after shooting, but not wounding, a Philadelphia police officer, police said.

Officer Richard Nicoletti's protective vest was grazed by a bullet from his own gun before his partner shot the assailant dead, according to Lt. Raymond Evers, a police spokesman.

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The dead man was identified as Carmelo Winans, who lived at 1734 N. Third St., where the shooting took place.

Nicoletti, 25, a three-year veteran, has a hole in his jacket and a nick in his vest, but was otherwise unharmed by the single shot fired at him.

Nicoletti is the son of Richard Nicoletti, an officer in the Narcotics Unit, and is a "tough guy" who served in Afghanistan, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters.

At 3:20 p.m., police received a call that a man was high on drugs and had a weapon. When Nicoletti and Officer Matthew McCarthy arrived at Winans' home, near Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia, they found him with a knife to his own throat, threatening to kill himself.

Nicoletti followed him into the kitchen, Evers said. As Nicoletti struggled to subdue him, Winans got hold of the officer's gun.

From another room, McCarthy heard Nicoletti say: "He's got my gun!" One shot was then fired, apparently grazing the officer's vest. The men were so close to each other that there wasn't space to fire another round, Evers said. McCarthy rushed to the kitchen and shot the man twice in the chest.

Tests were being done to confirm that the gunpowder on Nicoletti's vest and jacket matches his weapon, Evers said.

Nicoletti was treated for scrapes on his knees from the struggle.

"We're very fortunate that Officer Nicoletti is fine and recovering," Mayor Nutter told reporters after visiting the officer in the hospital.

Contact staff writer Matt Katz
at 215-854-4415 or mkatz@phillynews.com.