AM NY August 11, 2017

Cop shot in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, NYPD says


An NYPD officer was shot by an emotionally disturbed man in Brooklyn on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, police said. (Credit: Theodore Parisienne)

A protective vest saved the life of a police officer after he was shot in Brooklyn by an emotionally disturbed man who then barricaded himself inside his home before taking his own life, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said Thursday.

Police were called to the home on Ridgewood Avenue, near Essex Street, in Cypress Hills around 4:35 p.m. by a woman who said her 29-year-old son was emotionally disturbed, but not violent and unarmed, O'Neill said.

When Officer Hart Nguyen of the 75th Precinct and emergency personnel approached the bedroom, the son fired several shots, hitting Nguyen, 30, once in the arm and twice in the chest, according to O'Neill. Nguyen didn't return fire.

"What could have been just another day, just another call turned into something much worse," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The shooter, whose name was not immediately released, barricaded himself inside the bedroom for several hours. When emergency services personnel were eventually able to get in, they found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, O'Neill said. Two guns were recovered by his side, he said.

Nguyen, who has about two years on the force, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center in stable condition, O'Neill said, adding that the protective vest absorbed both bullets to the chest and likely saved his life.

"Thank goodness, the officer is gonna be fine. Recovery might take a while but I saw the injuries, spoke to him, spoke to his partner, and they're going to be fine," O'Neill said during an evening news conference at the hospital.

"This is an example of the bravery of the NYPD. Thank God our officer is going to come through in this case," de Blasio said. "He had a great attitude. He actually, you know, was trying to even make light of the situation in his own hospital bed."

About a block from the scene of the shooting, dozens of residents gathered near the orange tape that warned people not to cross without a helmet and heavy-duty vest. Police cars lined several streets in the neighborhood as helicopters circled overhead.

Amerool Ali, 60, said she was shocked to hear of what happened. "And this is a nice neighborhood ... You can walk anytime in the night. I was shocked, I'm really surprised."

"It's a shame," she added. "It's so sad."

Jessica Valera, 23, said when she got to Ridgewood Avenue all she saw were "police coming in, police coming out."

"I never hear anything like that, just in the news," she said, adding she only moved to the neighborhood a month ago. "I don't know how to react ... I can't believe it. It's weird."

With Alison Fox and Newsday