An off-duty officer was shot while trying to buy a vehicle in Brooklyn, police say
An off-duty New York City police officer was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in a suspected robbery while trying to buy a vehicle in Brooklyn on Saturday night, police said. authorities. The shooting sparked a sprawling manhunt for the suspect.
The officer, whose name has not been released by the New York Police Department, had arranged on a social media platform to purchase the vehicle in person, said Michael Baldassano, a deputy chief, at a press conference on Saturday evening. But when he arrived at the scene with a relative, the suspect “showed a gun and announced a robbery”, resulting in an “exchange of gunfire”, Mr Baldassano said.
When the officer, a five-year veteran of the department, was struck, the suspect fled, Baldassano said, adding that it remained unclear whether the assailant was injured during the exchange of fire. The relative who had traveled with the officer was not injured during the encounter, police said.
Mr Baldassano said while police had “no reason to believe” the suspect knew the target of the attempted robbery was an off-duty officer, the investigation was still ongoing.
Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain who has made public safety a cornerstone of his agenda, said at the press conference that “it hurts a lot” to know another officer was shot.
The shooting comes as the city continues to battle concerns over violent crime. There were 433 homicides in the city last year, down about 11% from 2021 and the fewest since 2019. But high-profile shootings last year, such as a mass shooting last April on a crowded subway train in Brooklyn, and other cases of police officers being shot and wounded have alarmed some New Yorkers.
“As we see so far, and so often in the city, too many illegal guns are in the hands of the wrong people and doing the wrong things,” Adams said.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the officer was “fighting for his life” Saturday night at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn. In the hospital lobby, officers wept and consoled themselves as they awaited updates on his condition.
Near the corner of Ruby Street and Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn in eastern New York, yellow tape cordoned off the area where the shooting allegedly took place and police vehicles swarmed the area.
“We are going to catch whoever is responsible for this act,” Mr. Adams said, noting that “all too often” he has been showing up at hospitals to share news of such attacks on police officers.
On January 1, 2022, a New York City police officer was shot while sleeping in a car outside a train station in East Harlem, hours after Mr. Adams was sworn in as the city’s mayor.
And a few weeks later, a single bullet fired by an armed teenager hit a police officer and the shooter as they brawled during a confrontation in the Bronx.
Chelsia Rose Marcius contributed report.