An off-duty NYPD officer is hospitalized, and two brothers are under arrest, Wednesday after an apparent road rage dispute in Queens led to the cop being shot, police said.
According to Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey, the unnamed officer was driving a Kia eastbound on Queens Boulevard at around 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 30 when he was stopped by a white minivan blocking the roadway.
Police later identified the van driver as 32-year-old Edwin Rivera, who was accompanied by his brother, 27-year-old Shawn Rivera. Both suspects have prior records, authorities said; Edwin has four prior arrests while Shawn has two.
After a brief verbal dispute, the off-duty cop carried on his way until on Queens Boulevard and 70th Street in Woodside, within the confines of the 108th Precinct — where the drivers made contact again.
“The male in the white vehicle had words with the MOS (member of service) again, and a second male, who was on foot, ran up behind the MOS’s vehicle and smashed his window,” Chief Maddrey said. “At that point the off-duty MOS exited his vehicle, identified himself as a police officer and drew his firearm on the two males and announced that the male was under arrest for breaking his window.”
The cop apparently dialed 911 for backup as he held the men at gunpoint. When he attempted to restrain the assailant who demolished his window, the pair got into a wrestling match over the gun, of which the third man got involved.
Maddrey identified the two men as brothers who allegedly attempted to take the officer’s firearm.
“All three males go down to the ground. Two males are on top of our officer continuing to punch and kick him, at which point a round his discharged from the MOS’s weapon,” Maddrey said. “One of the males runs from the struggle. The other male continues to fight with the officer and another round is discharged.”
While Maddrey told amNewYork Metro that it is still not immediately clear who fired the gun, one bullet struck the cop in the thigh, leaving him motionless on the ground, while the other hit one of the suspects in the hand.
When other officers arrived, they cuffed the alleged attacker, Edwin Rivera, and whisked the cop to Elmhurst Hospital where he is expected to survive.
Law enforcement sources said Shawn Rivera was arrested when he attempted to enter another hospital for a wounded hand after smashing the window.
Police remain at the scene continuing to gather evidence.
This story was updated on Aug. 30 at 5 p.m.