Two police officers are recovering at a hospital after being shot by an assailant in the Bronx on Wednesday night, officials said.
“We all need to count our blessings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference at St. Barnabas Hospital, after visiting the two officers.
The two uniformed officers—a female officer with about one year on the job who is also in the Air Force Reserve, and a male officer with eight years in the department—from the 48th Precinct had responded to a 911 call about a person with a gun at 2405 Beaumont Avenue just after 8 p.m., Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a briefing shortly after the shooting.
When they approached the individual who was sitting on a stoop, Shea said the male officer asked him to take his hands out of his pockets, and then the person fired.
“Within seconds they are in a gun battle,” Shea said, based on body camera footage he reviewed. He said that the female officer was first hit in her upper right arm, and then she returned fire. Based on the investigation so far, the police believe she fired five times while the suspect fired four times.
The male officer did not fire because “he was engaged [in a] hand-to-hand” confrontation with the suspect, Shea said. The male officer was shot in his left armpit area, the commissioner said, with the bullet exiting through his left chest, narrowly missing his heart.
The suspect, who was also injured in the gunfire, was described by Shea as a “career criminal” with “far too many arrests.” The gun used, he added, was reported stolen in Georgia.
Shea also emphasized that the 911 call came from the community. “It would appear to me, the community is doing their job, we have two incredibly brave police officers doing their job… loving what they do. It’s time for the rest of the system to do their job,” he said.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a retired NYPD captain, offered his prayers to the officers and said, “Police put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep NYC safe. When you attack a police officer, you are attacking the symbol of public safety – and New Yorkers will not tolerate that.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres and Council Member Oswald Feliz, who both represent the area, echoed the need to address the violence.
The shooting comes amid an increase in the number of reported shootings within the 48th Precinct so far this year, aligning with a borough-wide trend. The most recent NYPD statistics show the number of shooting incidents within the 48th Precinct (PDF) went from 37 the same time last year to 50, a 35% increase. For all Bronx precincts (PDF), the total number of reported shooting incidents stands at 459 compared to 352 the same time last year, a 30% increase. The number of shooting victims has also jumped in the Bronx to 547 from 428 the same time last year, a 27% increase. The number of shooting victims within the 48th Precinct surged from 47 the same time last year to 55.
Shootings have only increased 2.2% citywide for the same period (PDF), with a 0.3% in the number of shooting victims.
Earlier in the day, an officer was struck by a car in Canarsie, Brooklyn. According to reports, two officers had been pursuing a car that was believed to be stolen and one officer was dragged by the driver. The officer suffered a broken leg.
With reporting by David Cruz.
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)