Would-be phone thief shoots man in Union Square, NYPD officers help save life

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Two NYPD officers Rajandeep Singh (left) and Elijah Pardiu saved the life of a man shot on Union Square Monday evening.
Photo by Dean Moses

A man was shot inside the Union Square train station in an apparent botched robbery during the Monday evening rush hour — and some quick-thinking cops helped save the man’s life, police said.

Cops said the 42-year-old victim was aboard a northbound N train when he was approached by the would-be thief just after 5 p.m. on Oct. 25. According to the Assistant Transit Bureau Chief Vincent Coogan, the victim did not relinquish his phone fast enough, resulting in shots being fired.

An officer prevents entry to the subway on Union Square. Photo by Dean Moses

“A subway passenger was seated on a northbound N train, who was approached by a male who was armed with a black gun. The man with the gun, who was standing, demanded the cellphone of the male who was seated,” Chief Coogan said.

The victim received a bullet wound to the left leg, and the gunshot itself sent commuters running in a frenzy. That’s when two nearby NYPD officers spotted the commotion in the mezzanine area of the northbound platform, and raced to the scene.

Running against the crowd of close to a hundred people, Officers Rajandeep Singh and Elijah Pardiu found the victim bleeding profusely.

“We saw a male, white, staggering with a bullet hole to the left side of the leg. My partner gave me his tourniquet when we immediately applied it,” Officer Pardiu said, describing his efforts to examine the injury noting that he did not see an exit wound.

Chief Coogan. Photo by Dean Moses

“What was going through my partner and my mind was security mostly, and making sure this person lives to see another day,” Officer Pardiu added.

Officer Singh shared that every officer is required to carry a tourniquet with them, and he was grateful for that safety precaution.

“I took out my tourniquet, we put it on together,” Officer Singh said, describing the chaos and confusion surrounding them as they focused on saving the victim by applying the tourniquet as quickly as possible, “He was bleeding heavily.”  

The wounded man was rushed to Bellevue Hospital and remains in stable condition while the shooter fled the scene and remains at large.

“I’m just happy that I came into work today and actually made a difference,” said Officer Pardiu, adding that he was nervous but while others would runaway from turmoil, officers are trained to run towards it.

An officer prevents entry to the subway on Union Square. Photo by Dean Moses

The NYPD is canvassing the area and searching surveillance footage.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.