A Bronx police officer is lucky to be alive after being shot at a street corner early Tuesday morning.
Police apprehended the suspected shooter, a 16-year-old boy, and are seeking two other suspects who opened fire on the officer and his partner as they pulled up to the intersection of Prospect Avenue and East 183rd Street in Belmont just after 3 a.m. on Jan. 17.
“While attempting to engage two males on the corner, one officer was shot in the arm, narrowly missing his vital structures,” said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell at a press conference Tuesday morning at St. Barnabas Hospital, where the injured officer is now listed in stable condition.
Law enforcement officials said the two uniformed officers are assigned to the 48th Precinct Public Safety Team patrolling a known gang area for suspected gun violence activity. They were in an unmarked police vehicle at 3:03 a.m. on Jan. 17 when they observed the teenager and a second male at the intersection, and pulled up to question them.
But before they could even get out of their vehicle, Chief of Detectives James Essig reported, the officers found themselves facing a hail of bullets.
“When they pulled up, at least one male fires at least six times, striking the windshield and our officer, who was seated in the front passenger seat,” Essig said at the press conference.
Essig noted that two officers, including the injured cop, managed to get out of the vehicle and pursue the suspects as they ran from the scene. Additional police units quickly responded to join the pursuit.
Amid the chaos, a second shooter blasted two shots from a nearby apartment building at 760 East 183rd St. Based on a preliminary investigation, Essig said, it’s not believed that the shooter was firing directly at the officers.
Moments later, police apprehended the 16-year-old boy who allegedly fired on the officers at the intersection. A .32-caliber handgun was found in his possession. Charges against him are pending the results of the ongoing investigation.
“It clearly emphasizes that these young people have too many guns in their hands, and our job is to create a pathway to stop that and to ensure that we remove the guns off our streets,” Mayor Eric Adams said at the St. Barnabas Hospital press conference.
Meanwhile, the quick actions of the injured officer’s partner helped save his life, according to Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.
“The police officer that was shot still pursued the perpetrator. His partner pursued the perpetrator, recognizing that his partner was shot, throws him in the car, transmits a description and notifies the hospital,” Lynch said. “If he could have, when he got to the hospital, he probably could have done the operation as well. That’s how calm and professional these police officers were during chaos.”
Police are continuing to search for a male suspect with the 16-year-old when the shots were fired, and the second shooter who opened fire from 760 East 183rd St., where two .380-caliber shells had been recovered.
Essig said the suspect with the teenager wore all-black clothing, while the second shooter was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans while fleeing the location inside a vehicle.
“Let me be clear: We will stop at nothing to ensure that these subjects involved in the shooting, and the people who drive violence in this city, will be brought to justice,” Sewell said.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting or the suspects’ whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.