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Manhattan garage worker charged with attempted murder after shooting thief

A Manhattan parking garage attendant who was shot twice while confronting an alleged thief — then wrestled the gun away and opened fire on the suspect — has been charged with attempted murder, police and sources said.

The overnight worker, identified by cops as Moussa Diarra, 57, was also hit with assault and criminal possession of a weapon charge in the Saturday incident, which unfolded around 5:30 a.m. as the attendant saw a man peering into cars on the second floor of the West 31st Street garage, the sources said.

Believing the man was stealing, the attendant brought him outside and asked what was inside his bag.

Instead of cooperating, the man pulled out a gun, the sources said.

Diarra tried to grab for the weapon, and it went off — leaving him shot in the stomach and grazed in the ear by a bullet before he turned the firearm on the would-be thief and shot him in the chest, sources said.

The suspected thief, identified as Charles Rhodie, 59, was also charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, as well as burglary, police said late Saturday.

Parking lot where the incident occurred.
William Farrington

The charges against Diarra sparked outrage — and recalled the case of Manhattan bodega clerk Jose Alba, who was charged with murder after a fatal July 1 confrontation in his store with an angry customer who came behind his counter and accosted him.

Family friend Mariame Diarra, who is not related to the attendant, slammed the decision to hit the married dad of two with charges.

“That’s self-defense. The guy tried to rob his business. Why DA want to charge him with attempted murder?” she told The Post. “He’s there for security. That’s literally his job, to defend his business. … He takes his job seriously. … Attempted murder charge has no place there. He [robber] came to find him at his job with his gun, he [Diarra] has to defend himself.”

An individual who works nearby the garage, which is across from Moynihan Train Station, was also incredulous.

“You are kidding. That’s an April fool day joke, right?” they asked of the charges against Diarra, adding, “How can a hardworking man get arrested for defending himself?”

Alba spent six days in Rikers before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dropped the controversial murder charge amid intense public pressure to do so.

Outside the parking garage.
William Farrington

One cop who heard of the attempted murder charge against the parking garage worker snarled, “People like Alvin Bragg have made this city unsafe and this worker is a victim defending himself.”

The accused thief would have been better off if he stuck to stealing, another officer quipped.

“The ironic thing is if he would have just robbed the garage and got caught, Bragg would have let him go, but now he wants to charge both of them,” the officer said.

Moussa and Rhodie, who both live in Manhattan, were taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition after the incident, authorities said.

Additional reporting by Khristina Narizhnaya and Dean Balsamini