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Updated: February 4, 2023, 8:19 AM

Off-duty NYPD officer shot in the head during apparent NYC robbery

By Steven Vago, Larry Celona, Tina Moore and Patrick Reilly

An off-duty NYPD officer is in critical condition after he was shot in Brooklyn during an apparent robbery Saturday night, police said.

The officer — a 26-year-old father of two —  was blasted in the head during a shootout at 472 Ruby Street in East New York around 7 p.m., police and sources said.

The officer accompanied his brother for a car purchase he arranged on Facebook marketplace, when he was shot in what appears to be a botched holdup, police and sources said.

The suspect pulled out his gun “almost immediately,” after the two arrived at the scene and “announced a robbery,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Baldassano told reporters Saturday night. 

The off-duty officer drew his firearm as well and the two exchanged gunfire, police and sources told The Post.

Once he was struck, his brother picked up his gun and fired additional shots at the fleeing suspect, sources said.

Police are investigating area hospitals to see if the suspect was also struck, sources said.

The officer’s identity has not yet been released. 

Shocked witnesses described the horrifying scene

“I saw a person wearing a black hoodie, black top and gray sweats shooting, like he was ducking in front of a car outside my house,” neighbor Genesis, who called 911, told The Post. “It looked like he was shooting back and forth at someone.”

“[The suspect] kept shooting…After the last shot, I saw him running towards McDonalds and I looked away,” Genesis said. 

She said she didn’t see anyone get struck but later “saw someone get taken away in a stretcher,” with a gunshot wound to the head.

Fifteen shots in total were recorded by the department’s ShotSpotter technology, sources said.

The cop was transported to Brookdale Hospital and was in critical condition, police said.

Dozens of fellow officers, many teary-eyed, lined the halls of the hospital Friday night.

He has been a member of the force since 2017, police records show.

The brother-in-law of the wounded officer’s partner told The Post he was a “family person,” and father to two boys.

“He’s a nice person. I met him a few times,” Iffat Munir said.

“He’s devastated right now,” he said of the officer’s partner. 

“He’s hanging in there,” he told The Post.

The suspect, described as a bearded man in his 20s, fled the scene in a dark vehicle with tinted windows, according to police sources. He was wearing a black sweatshirt and gray sweatpants, sources said.

NYPD helicopters were in the area looking for the suspect.

“We will catch the person responsible for this act,” Mayor Eric Adams told reporters at the hospital Saturday night. 

“An officer conducting a simple errand and a dangerous person pulled out a firearm. As we see so often in this city, too many illegal guns are in the hands of bad people and doing bad things,” Adams said.

“This dangerous person must be removed off our streets,” hizzoner added.

NYPD PBA president Pat Lynch blasted local lawmakers for living in a “fantasy world” with their light-on-crime policies that he said has led to “devastation” in the city’s streets.

“You want to see the reality? Look at the devastation those rounds caused to that young man’s body. Listen to the cries of the wife, the father, the mother, their children,” he said at hospital press conference.

“That’s the reality. It’s causing devastation. This has to end. We can’t keep going to hospital emergency rooms and asking for prayers. Yes, prayers, but we need more. We need our legislators to sit down now, understand that they were wrong.”

Police are investigating whether the shooting was connected to other Facebook marketplace robberies, according to sources.

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy and Joe Marino