Two NYPD officers responding to a robbery call were shot in the Bronx late Monday night, police and law enforcement sources say.
A 30-year-old officer was shot in the arm and lower back, and a 38-year-old officer was shot in the chest and arm near East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue in the Fordham section shortly after 10:30 p.m., officials said at an early morning news conference.
The unidentified officers were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital where they are in critical but stable condition, and are expected to recover, the NYPD said
The anti-crime officers, who were in plain clothes, were part of a group of five officers who were responding to a call about a robbery at a grocery store on East 180th Street in the Bronx, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. The officers were approaching two suspects who had just entered a nearby restaurant when one of the suspects opened fire, Bratton said. The officers returned fire and two of them were wounded.
Bratton said the two suspects fled on foot to Marion Avenue, where they carjacked a white Camaro from a man and a woman. Shortly after, they abandoned the car and continued to flee on foot, police said. Investigators recovered a black Ruger Blackhawk revolver nearby. The suspects have not yet been apprehended.
Police say they were notified of a man with a gunshot wound to the back at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in upper Manhattan and they are investigating to see if he is connected to the crime. Authorities are also reviewing surveillance video which captures the moment of the shooting.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at Tuesday’s news conference, thanking the officers for risking their lives to keep the city safe.
“As always, the city of New York and the NYPD will be with them through this challenge and as these officers recover,” de Blasio said.
The shootings happened just hours after the mayor and the police commissioner held a joint news conference to tout record low crime levels, with overall crime down 4 percent from last year. But shootings were up 13 percent, which NYPD officials admitted were “an area of concern.”
City Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivitero released a statement Tuesday morning thanking the two officers for their service and wishing them a speedy recovery.
“Every day, New York’s police officers risk their lives keeping New Yorkers safe and we are very grateful for their service, dedication and commitment,” she said.
Last month, NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn, fueling tension between police and City Hall. Police unions have blamed Mayor de Blasio for permitting protests overpolice conduct that has, in turn, fostered an anti-NYPD atmosphere they believe contributed to the killings of the officers. The family of the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, have said he was emotionally disturbed and that the shootings had nothing to do with police retaliation.
The organization COP SHOT, Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot, has offered a $10,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.