NYPD cop Brian Groves shot near the heart, saved by his vest
An NYPD officer shot near the heart early Thursday morning was miraculously saved by his bulletproof vest, officials said.
Officer Brian Groves, 30, was shot by a thug in a housing project in the Lower East Side at around 3:40 a.m. Thursday as he and a partner were patrolling the area, the NYPD said. Groves was in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital with bruising on his chest.
Groves opened the door to the stairwell on the 22nd floor of a building on Essex Street when he saw an unidentified man allegedly holding a silver revolver, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Groves yelled "gun," to warn his partner, and chased the man down four flights of stairs before the gunman allegedly turned and fired off at least one shot, Kelly said, hitting Groves from about eight feet away. Groves was able to return fire, but was uncertain if he hit the man. He didn't realize he had been struck until later.
"Officer Groves is lucky to be alive," Kelly said. "He almost certainly would have been killed had it not been for his bullet resistant vest."
"By the grace of God and Kevlar, Officer Groves is expected to return home to his wife Nicole and their two young daughters," he added.
Police were still searching for the suspect on Thursday.
Groves, a cop who has been assigned to the housing bureau since 2005, is the ninth officer shot so far this year, officials said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been an advocate for stronger gun control laws, slammed legislators in Washington for not doing more to get guns off the street.
"Instead of taking action on the most serious problems head on, instead of doing something to stem the wash of illegal guns over the streets of every city and town in our country, we have paralyzing squabbling and gridlock that may be worse than any other period in our nation's history," Bloomberg said in a news conference Thursday.
"Actions have consequences. Inaction has consequences as well," he added. "And today we see the results again of Washington's allergy to doing anything, no matter how small, to help keep our streets safe."