Brian McGurran, the Brooklyn NYPD officer who was shot Wednesday night and saved by his bulletproof vest, emerged from Kings County Hospital on Thursday afternoon on his two feet and received a boisterous salute from his colleagues.
McGurran was hospitalized after being shot three times allegedly by a 26-year-old man near Saratoga Park, at the corner of Macon Street and Howard Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Saved from a possible fatal chest wound by his vest, the four-year veteran from the 81st Precinct was treated at Kings County Hospital for additional wounds to his leg and buttocks.
But McGurran was able to walk on his own power out of the medical center on May 13, getting the applause of a battalion of uniformed officers there to greet him.
A symphony of applause erupted as McGurran appeared from the shadows of the patient drop off/pick up tunnel. Pushed in a wheelchair, the freshly discharged officer waved to the hundreds of NYPD members who had arrived to receive McGurran after taking a bullet while on duty.
“This is heroism at its finest. This is a police officer that went into danger and challenging individuals that carry the illegal firearms, one of our officers were shot last night and he just walked out. That’s a New York City police officer at its finest and under the leadership of Billy Glenn and the great leadership under Judy Harrison we are going to continue to fight hard to keep Brooklyn safe,” said NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison standing outside of Kings County Hospital. “This is what we do in the NYPD, protect and serve.”
The bittersweet mood soon transformed into pure bliss as McGurran gripped the arms of the wheelchair and pushed himself upright, where he strode confidently into the afternoon sun. This produced a cacophony of cheers and even greater adulation.
Shaking hands and fist bumping with fellow officers, McGurran was soon whisked into a vehicle with family members and driven home with an NYPD escort.
The officer, who many in the department deem a hero, was played out of sight by the sounds of bagpipes and the applauding NYPD army.
Deputy Inspector William Glynn, the commanding officer of the 81st Precinct, beamed with pure pride as he described McGurran’s service.
“I cannot say how proud I am of Officer McGurran. He is the epitome of what New York City police officers should be, running toward shots, running toward danger in the middle of the night to serve the community of Bed Stuy to put bad people where they belong — in jail. I could not be more proud of him, the public safety team, and all the men and women of the 81st Precinct. I could not be prouder,” Deputy Inspector Glynn said.
While the joyous occasion hailed McGurran for his bravery, it further underscored the increase of gun violence within New York City. For Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, it was a breaking point for what he feels is an over-policing of the police.
“What chance does the general public have? We have a solution, we need our elected leaders: Mayor, City Council, state legislatures to realize they made a mistake and fix it. Reverse those laws. We have to also understand that the arc of crime, when crime is down it goes up and when we bring it back down again it takes 10 years,” Lynch said. “We don’t have 10 years and we are living in our neighborhoods. We don’t have 10 years if you are a family that is losing someone to gun violence. Let’s make the decision now to admit they made a mistake, fix that mistake so we can bring the city back. We’ve done it before as police officers and it took us 30 years last time. Let’s not go back any further. Let’s stop it now, fix it now, so we can save lives.”
Lynch shared that officers, like many New Yorkers, feel unsafe with the increase of gun violence and aggression toward officers.
“They absolutely feel unsafe on the street for the same reason the public does. There is not enough police officers and the ones that are out there are being held back and questioned when they take police action. We have to start supporting our police officers. It’s not just ‘Hello, thank you for your service.’ That’s good, we appreciate that, but we need our elected leaders to start thinking and representing the people in the neighborhoods. They want our police; they love our police. They want to feel safe on our corners,” Lynch added.