A New York City police officer responding to a call about domestic violence was shot in the back Thursday night, but his vest stopped the bullet and he was expected to be released shortly from a hospital in Brooklyn, police officials said early Friday.
The officer, who is 27 and has been with the department for more than two years, “is in a little pain but he is in extremely good spirits,” Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said at a news conference.
A 20-year-old man suspected of firing the shot was chased several blocks by police officers until he dropped his gun and was taken into custody, Commissioner Shea said.
The episode began as a call for help about domestic violence, police officials said at the news conference in Kings County Hospital Center, where the officer, who was not identified, was being treated.
Shortly before 9 p.m., a woman made at least two calls to 911, saying her daughter’s boyfriend was on his way to their Crown Heights apartment and was going to shoot them, officials said.
“The urgency of the voice cannot be understated,” Commissioner Shea said.
Moments after the police arrived at their third-floor apartment in a private residence, the boyfriend arrived, the commissioner said.
Then, according to footage from the officers’ body cameras, “you see the girlfriend point out, and next thing you hear are shots being fired,” Commissioner Shea said.
One officer was struck in the back, the commissioner said, but the bullet did not penetrate the officer’s bulletproof vest. Two other officers fired at least seven shots at the man but did not strike him, Commissioner Shea said.
The man ran off, but an officer caught up about two blocks later. That officer repeatedly yelled at the man to drop the gun, the commissioner said. “Eventually, the perpetrator puts the gun down on the sidewalk, lays down, and he’s taken into custody without any further violence,” Commissioner Shea said, noting that the entire chase and confrontation had been captured by that officer’s body camera.
The police did not identify the man taken into custody.
Mayor Bill de Blasio referred at the news conference to the parents of the officer who was shot. “They felt this was a Christmas miracle,” he said, “that their son is alive and well.”
It was the second time in three weeks that a New York City police officer was shot during a call for help regarding domestic violence, police officials noted.
Last month, two police officers responding to a domestic violence call suffered non-life threatening injuries when they were shot in the Springfield Gardens section of Queens. A gunman was killed.
At the news conference in Brooklyn early Friday, Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, said the shooting on Thursday was part of a broader pattern of violence against law enforcement personnel.
“We have to start asking the question why is this happening,” Mr. Lynch said. He blamed recent changes in New York’s bail laws and a lack of support among lawmakers and the public.
The solution, Mr. Lynch said, was “there has to be fear in the hearts of the perps that they know if they shoot at a police officer, they won’t walk the streets.”