An NYPD detective was accidentally shot by his partner during a drug arrest in Bushwick on Tuesday evening. The officers were trying to arrest three men who’d just finished a heroin deal, police said. The detective — identified by the Daily News as 37-year-old Jon Gladstone — was hit in the left shoulder and taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he’s in stable condition. Mayor de Blasio said last night that Gladstone was “in good spirits and very alert.”
Gladstone and his sergeant were in plainclothes when they approached a vehicle, one officer on each side, and identified themselves as police during what cops say was a routine buy-bust operation in which an undercover officer had bought $80 worth of “American Dream” heroin.
Gladstone and his partner had used their car to block the alleged drug dealers’ minivan from the front, but the driver backed up, rammed a second police car, and pulled away. Gladstone had reached into the van to make the arrest, and (as First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker told reporters) when the van started moving, the driver tried to hit Gladstone’s partner; that’s when the shooting began.
The officers fired a total of four shots. Tucker said that the detective “was hit in the shoulder apparently by the shot that came from his colleague.” The driver of the car, identified by the Daily News as 45-year-old Oscar Vera, was also shot three times in the leg and wrist. He was arrested, as was the passenger in the vehicle, 51-year-old Geraldo Rodriguez. A third man, who was outside the car, escaped. The driver is in stable condition at Bellevue.
Gladstone is the sixth officer to be shot in the line of duty this year, and the third to be hit in a likely friendly-fire incident.