NYPD officials recounted the moments when two 71st Precinct cops came close to death on Sunday night when a man with three illegal firearms shot his roommate in the legs.
Bodycam footage depicts the officers responding to a complaint at 42 Hawthorne St. in Crown Heights.
Officers standing at the bottom landing of a stairwell talk with a man who had a blanket over his shoulders, and when they began walking single file up the stairs, the man opened fire with .38 caliber revolver.
According to NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison, one of the officers “bladed” himself against the gunfire and the bullet only grazed the front of his jacket. The cops returned fire, taking about 16 shots at the perp before he barricaded himself in the apartment with his victim.
Similar footage from above the door at 42 Hawthorne St. one of the roommates was found with bullet wounds in both legs, per NYPD. pic.twitter.com/ukMFHtoKa1
— Mark Hallum (@MarkuuSan) March 8, 2021
“The police officer who was first in the single file line instinctively turned his body, bladed himself, like this, and was able to avoid a direct impact to his bullet resistant vest. The bullet grazed the front of his vest which struck his body-worn camera magnet and lodged inside of his uniform duty jacket,” Harrison said.
The last officer in line was grazed by a bullet in his left shin.
Despite the 16 rounds discharged by NYPD, the perp retreated back into the apartment untouched. The situation then escalated into a hostage negotiation situation which was resolved by an emergency service unit that safely removed the shooter from the apartment without incident, according to Harrison.
“Last night reminds us is two things; number one, there is no routine call. Number two, police officers have split second decisions to make in life and death circumstances. We have seen this far too often,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Along with the .38 caliber revolver, an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun were recovered from inside the apartment and the victim is in stable condition in Kings County Hospital.
The perpetrator was taken to Brookdale Hospital for evaluation.