An NYPD officer is recovering from a gunshot wound he sustained while attempting to arrest an armed teenage suspect in the Bronx on Tuesday night.
At 9:31 p.m. on Jan. 18, authorities said, six uniformed police officers responded to an unruly group of youths at 2356 Lorillard Place in Belmont when a 16-year-old boy approached a parked NYPD vehicle with his hands in his pockets, according to Chief of Detectives James Essig.
Essig reported that the teen refused to comply with commands to show his hands, leading to a physical struggle between an officer and the teenage suspect. During the scuffle, the suspect’s gun went off, unleashing a single round that passed through his groin and into the officer’s right leg.
Both the suspect and officer were whisked to St. Barnabas Hospital and are expected to make recoveries, police sources said.
The area is known to law enforcement as a “problematic” block rife with illegal drugs, guns, and gang activity, Essig revealed.
In addition, the wounded suspect is an alleged gang member of a subset group of the Crips. Police sources said the youngster has a prior record, having been previously arrested at the age of 14 in 2020 not far from where the shooting took place for carrying another firearm. He was charged as a juvenile delinquent and received probation.
The gun itself was found to have been used in a South Carolina shooting back in October 2020, authorities noted.
Following the incident and visiting the wounded officer, Mayor Eric Adams made a candid statement regarding his anger over yet another shooting that left a member of law enforcement injured.
“I’ve been privileged to lead the NYPD for 18 days and this is the second time I’ve had to come to the hospital for an officer shot. It underscores that there are too many illegal guns on the streets of New York City. And all too often those who are carrying them are young,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said while visiting the injured officer just after midnight on Jan. 19.
“This individual was just placed on probation for possession of a gun in December, in January he’s back in possession of a gun. Something is wrong with that. We are making tactical errors on preventing the law enforcement community from being able to rid our communities of guns. That’s unacceptable,” Adams added. “I am just frustrated with this.”
Adams also called upon prosecutors and law makers to help keep dangerous individuals off the streets.
“Our city must be safe. That’s the promise I made and that’s the promise I’m going to keep and we’re going to utilize our agency to carry this out. But we do need help to bring this city back to a safe city,” Adams pleaded.