Two NYPD officers were shot and wounded in the Bronx on Monday night while responding to a robbery. The shooting took place on East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue, near Fordham University, around 10:40 p.m. A 30-year-old officer was shot in the arm and lower back, and a 38-year-old officer was shot in the chest and arm. Both officers are in critical but stable condition at St. Barnabas Hospital and are expected to survive. “This is another indicator of the dangers our officers face in the line of duty,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an early-morning press conference. “Thank God, these officers will recover.”
The incident comes at a tense time, but officials say that unlike the fatal shooting of two NYPD officers last month, it does not appear that the officers were targeted by the gunmen. The two plainclothes officers were at the end of their shift when they heard a call about a robbery at a grocery store. “These officers did something that as extraordinarily brave and they did it as part of their commitment,” de Blasio said. “They came off their shift. Upon hearing this call, they went back out in search of these criminals.”
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that when they arrived on the scene along with three other officers, they spotted two men who matched the description of the robbers. One was inside a Chinese restaurant and the other was on the street. As the officers approached, the man inside the restaurant emerged and opened fire. The officers returned fire, and one of the suspects may have been hit.
The suspects fled on foot, then carjacked a white Camaro from two women. Later police found the abandoned car and a black Ruger Blackhawk revolver that may have been used in the shooting.
Police launched a massive manhunt for the suspects and shut down subway service in the area. As of 4:30 a.m. they were still at large. Police were notified that a man with a gunshot wound to the back was checked in to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and they’re looking into whether he’s connected to the shooting. The group COP SHOT is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the gunmen.
Just a few hours earlier, de Blasio and Bratton announced crime is at a record low, and criticized cops who turned their backs at the officers’ funerals for their “disrespectful” protest. At the hospital, the mayor thanked the two wounded officers for risking their lives to protect the city. “As always, the city of New York and the NYPD will be with them through this challenge and as these officers recover,” de Blasio said.
This post has been updated throughout.