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'Christmas miracle': Brooklyn cop's bulletproof vest saves his life after domestic violence suspect shoots him | amNewYork

‘Christmas miracle’: Brooklyn cop’s bulletproof vest saves his life after domestic violence suspect shoots him

A police officer stands near a Brooklyn home where a police officer was shot and wounded while responding to a domestic violence incident on Christmas Eve night, Dec. 24, 2020.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A police officer in Brooklyn survived a brush with death on Christmas Eve after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call in what Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Mayor Bill de Blasio called a “Christmas miracle.”

The shot that hit the 27-year-old male officer assigned to the 77th Precinct struck him halfway up his back, but lodged in the bulletproof vest he wore on duty. The bullet never penetrated his skin; the officer’s expected to be released from Kings County Hospital early Christmas morning.

Other officers at the scene opened fire on the 20-year-old male suspect at least seven times, but none of the shots struck him or anyone else. Police later caught the perpetrator following a brief foot pursuit; he’s now being held pending charges.

Shea outlined the preliminary details of the incident, which happened at about 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 24 at a home on Bergen Street near Ralph Avenue in Weeksville, across the street from the Albany Houses. 

The injured officer and others responded to desperate 911 calls from the mother of the suspect’s girlfriend, according to Shea, who told the operator that he was threatening to come over and “shoot the place up.”

The suspect showed up at the scene not long after the cops did, according to Shea. He then opened fire after the girlfriend pointed him out to police.

The injured officer — who has about 2 1/2 years of service to the NYPD — was rushed to Kings County Medical Center conscious and in stable condition, sources said.

Shea and de Blasio met with his parents, who expressed relief that their son will survive, and soon be discharged. 

“The look of relief in their faces is unforgettable, and also they felt this was a Christmas miracle, that their son is alive and well,” the mayor said. “Thank God for that.”

Police officers at the scene of the Dec. 24, 2020 shooting of a police officer in Weeksville, Brooklyn.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Shea compared the incident to a police shooting in Queens on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, when two officers from the 105th Precinct were shot as they responded to a domestic violence incident. While they survived their injuries, the suspect was shot dead by police during an ensuing shootout.

During the Christmas Eve incident in Brooklyn, the commissioner said the officers exhibited “incredible bravery” in not only shielding the girlfriend and her family from the suspect, but also the officers in being able to apprehend the shooter without further incident.

The suspect does not have a prior criminal record, but he was involved in one prior domestic violence call that led to an NYPD response, Shea noted. 

FBI and NYPD members investigate the Dec. 24, 2020 shooting of a police officer in Weeksville, Brooklyn.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

De Blasio noted that the city has seen “horrible incidents of domestic violence” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and appealed for anyone who needs help and is in immediate danger to seek it.

“Here is a time when we would expect people to treat each other with kindness, but instead, a woman’s life was in danger,” the mayor said. “We know during the holidays, tragically, a lot of the worst instincts come out in some people.”

The NYPD Force Investigation Squad is conducting the ongoing inquiry and will review evidence including bodycam footage from the officers as part of the probe.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call 800-621-HOPE.

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