NEW YORK (AP) — An off-duty NYPD officer on his way to work was shot Tuesday night and taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said. Two suspects have been arrested.
According to police, the 22-year-old officer was sitting at a traffic light in his personal vehicle on Monday at 10:18 p.m. when two men approached his driver-side window and one tapped on it with a gun, attempting to commit a robbery. When the officer got out of the car, one man fired several shots at the officer, striking him in the shoulder, police said at a news conference early Wednesday.
The officer fired back but he did not injure either of the men, who fled on foot.
Police said officers from the 100th precinct heard the gunshots and came out to render aid to the officer. They broadcast a description of the suspects over their police radio. Uniformed public safety team officers noticed two men three blocks away.
The officers attempted to stop the two men, who then fired at them, police said. One bullet struck the rear bumper of the unmarked vehicle. Police said the officers did not fire back and the men again fled on foot. The officers gave chase and the men were arrested a short time later. Officers also recovered a gun at the scene.
Police said the first responding officers transported the off-duty officer in their police vehicle to Jamaica Hospital, where he was in stable condition after surgery.
New York Mayor Eric Adams said the officers showed a “great level of restraint” by not firing back at the suspects.
“When these two individuals shot at a passenger driving a car, they didn’t shoot at a police officer, they shot at a civilian. And then to find out that they shot at police officers, it sent a message. They had no regard of who they were trying to kill,” Adams said.
“We can make our city safe if we get the help that we need and deserve,” Adams said.
The NYPD had earlier tweeted about the shooting, telling people to avoid the area of Beach 62 Street and Beach Channel Drive in Queens.
The shooting comes as New York police prepare to pay tribute to one of two young officers killed by gunfire while answering a call for help on Jan. 22 in Harlem. Officer Wilbert Mora’s funeral is set for Wednesday morning. Jason Rivera was eulogized and posthumously promoted to detective on Friday.
The officer shot was the sixth so far this year in New York City.