Cops shot and killed two brothers in a hail of 18 bullets during a wild melee outside a Brooklyn nightclub early Sunday, NYPD sources said.
Investigators believe Dwayne David, 22, and Kayshawn Forde, 21, fired a volley of shots at a crowd and then charged at the cops with their handguns raised.
As the siblings bore down on them, the cops returned fire and mortally wounded the two suspects outside RJ's Place on Rutland Road in Brownsville, the sources said.
"When I ran out, I saw two bodies on the ground," said witness Mohamed Ahmed, 32, a local deli owner. "One of them was opening their mouth, trying to stay alive."
Police said the shootings appeared to be justified under department guidelines.
The mother of the dead men mourned the deaths of her two sons, whom she had frantically tried to call after hearing the shots.
"Both died - my two sons died," said Dale Baptiste. "I looked through the window and saw [my] child lying down in the drain."
She said her sons were bystanders and accused the cops of whitewashing the shootings.
The fatal gunfight erupted after two plainclothes officers, one a lieutenant, responded to a call of a fight at RJ's Place, sources said.
The officers parked a few feet from the club and watched as a dark blue Dodge Charger sedan pulled up outside the club.
Forde, David and another man hopped out of the car and one of them yelled out, "Give me the ratchet," slang for gun, sources said. Someone handed the man a 45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, sources said.
The men then ran toward the fracas going on outside the lounge and fired several shots into the mob, police sources said. One witness told investigators the gunmen were coming to the aid of a friend who was being attacked, although it was not clear what ignited the original fight.
As the two brothers dashed back toward their car, they were confronted by the two plainclothes cops, sources said.
One cop screamed at them to stop, later insisting to investigators that he "yelled so loud that they'd hear it in the Bronx," a police source said.
Believing that he was under fire as the brothers kept running toward him, the cop started shooting as he scrambled back toward his car, blowing out the window of the unmarked police car as he fired.
Forde collapsed next to the car, his semiautomatic clattering to the concrete.
David staggered a few feet before falling amid a crowd of several people. Investigators, who found no second weapon, believe someone picked up David's gun and ran.
Police said the cop fired 16 rounds, while the lieutenant - identified by sources as Larry Burnham, 38 - fired twice.
As police moved to quickly seal off the block, the brothers' relatives rushed outside to comfort the bleeding men while they waited for paramedics to arrive.
"Dwayne was by the car gasping for breath," said his cousin Roxanne Rawlins. "I was holding Kayshawn's hand because he was in and out [of consciousness]."
The brothers died minutes later at local hospitals.
Both had arrest records for assault and disorderly conduct, but no gun-related charges.
The third suspect, who was not identified, was taken into custody two blocks away. Charges against him were pending last night.