NEW YORK — Two New York City police officers were shot within hours of one another on Saturday night and Sunday morning in what officials believe were targeted attacks by the same suspect.
The first officer was wounded when a gunman fired into his patrol van Saturday night, an attack officials called an attempted assassination. The second officer was shot on Sunday morning when a gunman entered a Bronx precinct headquarters and opened fire, NBC New York reports.
The gunman who opened fire in the headquarters was reportedly taken into custody around 8:00 am, placing his gun on the ground and surrendering after wounding the officer, and police believe he’s responsible for both shootings.
The officer at the wheel of the van was grazed in the chin and neck, but he avoided serious injury, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Saturday. He was expected to released from the hospital Sunday. The officer shot in the precinct headquarters is in stable condition, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday morning.
“This vicious assassination attempt is the second one we’ve seen in 24 hours — and an attack on our NYPD officers is an attack on ALL New Yorkers,” de Blasio wrote. “This despicable hatred is an attempt to divide our city and undermine our safety. We cannot and will not let that happen.”
The ambush in the van, which Shea said “should outrage all New Yorkers,” happened just before 8:30 pm in the South Bronx.
“He is lucky to be alive,” Shea said Saturday of the officer in the Saturday night attack.. “He is expected to make a full recovery and it is a miracle.”
Shea said the shooting “harkens back to some very bad times,” recalling other unprovoked assaults on police officers sitting in their patrol vehicles.
In 2017, a gunman killed Officer Miosotis Familia as she sat in her patrol vehicle in the Bronx. In 2014, two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a man upset about recent police killings of unarmed black men. Shea said Ramos and Liu’s deaths were “not something that engenders anything but the worst memories.”