East New York was the center of both tragedy and hope this weekend as loved ones gathered Sunday to pray for the still unnamed patrol cop who was shot during an attempted robbery in the neighborhood Saturday night.
On Feb. 5, colleagues, local clergy members, friends and family met in the lobby of Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center to show their support for the officer still fighting for his life upstairs. Attendees of the vigil prayed for the officer to make a full recovery during the emotional gathering.
“You need to keep this officer in your prayers,” said Deputy Inspector Adeel Rana of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society. “He goes out there every day making sure you guys are safe, so make sure you guys do the same.”
The five-year NYPD veteran and father of two was left critically injured during a holdup over the weekend and remains in such condition Monday.
According to police, the officer and his brother were attempting to purchase a car via a Facebook Marketplace exchange at around 7 p.m. on Feb. 4. Cops say the suspect — described by authorities as a man with a dark complexion and facial hair — met the pair behind a McDonald’s near Ruby Street and Linden Boulevard but quickly reneged on the deal, pulling a gun on the officer and his brother.
The botched robbery quickly devolved into a shootout, in which the cop was shot in the head. Sources familiar with the investigation are now saying the cop’s brother attempted to pick up the gravely wounded man’s gun and return fire at their attacker, but authorities do not believe that the suspect was hit.
Police have reportedly gathered intel on the suspect from Facebook and believe he may be connected to previous robberies. But, days later, a citywide search for the callous gunman continues.
With details continuing to unravel, members of the Brooklyn community on Sunday harbored hope that the beloved father and husband would pull through, bolstered by the outpouring of well wishes by those who are keeping him in their thoughts and prayers.
“We are going through a really hard time, the family is going through hardship, and gathering here tonight means a lot to family,” said Captain Waheed Akhter, vice president of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society.
Both Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell have pledged to apprehend the individual responsible for the shooting that has torn a family apart — and to bring him to justice.
“We’re all lifting his family up in prayer,” Adams said Saturday night. “We will catch the person responsible for this act.”
Police ask anyone with information to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell