An NYPD lieutenant wounded by a crazed gunman who began shooting inside the Bronx’s 41st Precinct yesterday walked out of Lincoln Hospital to the cheers of fellow officers and friends.
Lt. Jose Gautreaux suffered a gunshot wound to the arm when a man, identified as Robert Williams, allegedly went inside the 41st Precinct and started firing Sunday morning.
The gunman had also allegedly shot Police Officer Paul Stroffolino, 31, as he sat in a van only blocks from the precinct only hours before. Stroffolino was released yesterday with graze wounds to his neck and chin in the attack. Both he and Gautreaux are expected to make a full recovery, doctors at the hospital said.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was all smiles as Gautreaux stood up from his wheelchair and gave a thumbs up as he walked with family members towards a waiting car outside the hospital’s emergency room. Several officers had balloons and flowers for the lieutenant.
“We just want him to feel better and we hope to see him soon back in our stationhouse,” smiled one officer from the 41st Precinct. “It really was scary and it’s great to see him walking and waving.”
Commissioner Shea called it “a great day — from where we were in the last 24 hours between yesterday to now to have Jose walking out, springing out of the chair this is a really good day — we were very lucky.”
“I can tell you I speak for everyone next to me — we are thankful for support of community. How happy we are, for grace of God, this could’ve been very different scenario,” Shea said. “It was unbelievable when the we opened the door to the car, I said, ‘hurry up, get back to work — no malingering in this NYPD.'”
PBA Bronx rep Police officer Freddy Winter said his members were gratified by the great turnout.
“The cops came out and the support from public — it was great to see as far as tragedy like this,” Winter said. “To see them come out strong like this, it was especially nice to see him walking out of the hospital like this — a great day.”
Reaction to SBA Tweet Gets Shea thumbs down
The police unions have been vociferous about bail reform and having to re-arrest people who have been released without bail. The SBA has been most virulent in their criticisms.
The commissioner responded to a tweet posted but Sergeants Benevolent Association president Eddie Mullins, which attacked the mayor with a thumbs down, saying “it was not helpful.”
One of the tweets said, “Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on!”
“There is always a tension at times — I saw that tweet and there 100% I think it was inappropriate,” Shea said.
“This is a time we need to come together so when you look at this city and how far we’ve come in the last six years, changing how we do policing in this city, working closer with the community — the community is behind the NYPD. When you do a tweet like that, I think it’s wrong — I think Ed Mullins should think before he tweets like that because it is not helpful to where we are going and when you look at what the mayor is doing for this city he’s been extremely supportive of the NYPD.”
Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco said, “It was great, wasn’t it. God was on our side that day.” Turco has been critical of the current criminal justice system and he took note of Mullins comments and said, “That’s their perspective, but we do need to change this criminal justice system.”
Meanwhile, the assailant Williams is set to be arraigned on Monday, Feb. 10 on attempted murder charges. His rap sheet included serving time for stealing a car, shooting at cops and numerous other offenses.