A plainclothes police officer was shot twice in the leg Monday night during an exchange of gunfire with a teenage suspect in Brooklyn, authorities said. The suspect also was wounded in the gunfight.
Both Officer Richard Ramirez and the young suspect, were in stable condition at separate hospitals.
"If Officer Ramirez and his team had not confronted the suspect, the shooter would still be on the street, and he may well have killed innocent New Yorkers,'' the mayor said.
Ramirez, 29, was patrolling the streets as a member of a three-man anti-crime team in East New York at about 8 p.m. when they encountered a 17-year-old boy on a bike on a sidewalk in Brooklyn, authorities said.
When they began to approach the suspect, the teenager "immediately threw down the bike and ran,'' said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
The suspect, identified by police as Elijah Forster-Bey of Port Washington, ran into a Bradford Street building and made it up to the third floor, where he turned around and opened fire on the officers, authorities said.
Two of the officers fired back, letting off 11 rounds, said Kelly.
The teen's gun had a capacity of seven rounds, the commissioner said. He said six rounds were expended and police were trying to determine if those rounds were fired at the scene by the suspect.
Ramirez, a four-year veteran of the force, was struck twice in the right leg, authorities said. Kelly said police also were trying to determine if the officer's vest may have been struck.
Foster-Bey was struck three times, Kelly said.
He was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, where he was in critical but stable condition, the commissioner said. He has been charged with attempted murder and criminal use of a firearm.