Meet Victor Santos, the latest Darwin Award recipient.
A pair of undercover cops fatally shot an opportunistic crook in Queens last night after he pointed a pellet gun at them as they arrested a drug dealer, police said.
Not realizing that the two plainclothes men were actually police officers involved in a drug buy-and-bust, Victor Santos, 42, thought he had stumbled on a robbery in progress at Seneca and Gates Avenues in Ridgewood — and hoped to clean out all three men for himself, authorities said.
“He thinks he’s witnessing a drug [robbery] and thinks he’s going to take the proceeds from everyone,’’ said a police source, adding that Santos was known in the neighborhood for pulling heists.
Santos exited the livery car he was in, ran toward the trio and raised his gun at the officers as their backs were turned, police said.
The handcuffed dealer saw Santos pulling his weapon and informed him that he was waving a gun at law enforcement, not a pair of thugs, authorities said.
‘They’re cops, you idiot!” Rivera bellowed as the detectives wheeled around to face Santos.
Face to face with what they thought was a Glock semiautomatic pistol, the officers squeezed off six shots and struck the seasoned shakedown artist three times in the torso and leg, cops said.
He was later pronounced dead on arrival at nearby Wyckoff Hospital.
Sources said Santos’ weapon was later discovered to be a Walther CP99 compressed air pistol.
Investigators believe that the killing was justified because the officers had good reason to think that the weapon was real and feared for their lives, police said.