New York Daily News

February 10, 2016, 3:27 PM

  

 

NYPD cop Diara Cruz released from hospital nearly one week after getting shot in Bronx housing project by ex-con

BY THOMAS TRACY, CHRISTINA CARREGA-WOODBY, JOHN MARZULLI, DENIS SLATTERY, STEPHEN REX BROWN

RICHARD HARBUS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Diara Cruz, 24, leaves Lincoln Hospital after recovering from being shot a week ago. 

NYPD Officer Diara Cruz is heading home.

The 24-year-old cop was cheered on by scores of cops as she was released from Lincoln Hospital Wednesday — nearly a week after she was shot in a Bronx housing project.

RICHARD HARBUS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NYPD Officer Diara Cruz (pictured) was wounded in a shooting at the Melrose Houses in the Bronx on February 4. She was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Cruz, her partner Police Officer Patrick Espeut, 29, and a third cop were conducting a routine vertical patrol inside the Melrose Houses about 8 p.m. Thursday when they approached gunman Malik Chavis, 23.

RICHARD HARBUS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Diara Cruz, 24, was hit in the torso below her bulletproof vest during an altercation nearly a week ago.

Chavis was trying to rob two men inside inside the E. 156th St. building when the three cops approached and asked for their identification.

Chavis ran off, but turned and fired, hitting Cruz in the stomach, just below her bullet-resistant vest. A second bullet was stopped by a rear panel of her vest, just below the collar line, police sources said.

She was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, where she underwent surgery.

Espeut was shot in the nose and suffered a graze wound to his cheek. He was released from Lincoln Hospital Friday.

MICHAEL SCHWARTZ/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Police Officer Patrick Espeut, who was also shot while conducting a patrol in the housing project, was released from the hospital last Friday.

ttracy@nydailynews.com