A police officer in Bedford-Stuyvesant survived a brush with death after a gunman shot him three times on Wednesday night.
Charges are now pending against the 26-year-old man accused of shooting the cop, and firing at two of his colleagues assigned to the 81st Precinct, as they attempted to stop him near Saratoga Park, at the corner of Macon Street and Howard Avenue.
According to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, the 81st Precinct members were on patrol inside an unmarked vehicle just after 11:15 pm on May 12 when they observed the gunman acting suspiciously near the park. The incident happened only moments after a deadly shooting four blocks away in Bushwick and police are investigating whether the gunman is connected to that incident.
“The officers stop, get out to investigate, and immediately the male pulls a firearm, turns on the officers and begins to shoot,” Shea said in describing the incident early Wednesday morning at Kings County Hospital.
The injured officer — a four-year NYPD veteran — was hit once in the chest but was saved from a potentially lethal injury by his bulletproof vest. He was also struck in the right leg and buttocks.
According to Shea, the wounded officer, and one of his colleagues, managed to return fire, blasting a combined 21 shots at the suspect. One of the bullets hit the perpetrator in the leg; no other injuries were reported.
Police were able to take the wounded suspect into custody, and his weapon — a 9 mm Taurus — was recovered from the scene. Shea said the shooter is a gang member known to the department.
EMS rushed the injured officer to Kings County Hospital for treatment of his injuries, which are not life-threatening. Early Thursday morning, Shea and Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the officer at the hospital and thanked the staff there for treating him.
But the commissioner realized just how lucky the NYPD is that the incident didn’t end in tragedy.
“Again, we find ourselves at a hospital in the middle of the night with another example of our brave officers out there fighting crime and keeping New Yorkers safe,” he said Thursday. “It’s by the grace of God that we’re not about to start planning for a second funeral in one month.”
Shea referred to the death of Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos, an NYPD Highway Patrol member fatally struck by an alleged drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway in Queens last month.
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.