Two police officers were shot by an armed subway rider in Brooklyn and an off-duty officer was shot during an attempted robbery at a Bronx auto shop in the span of an hour Thursday.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg noted that the shootings of three NYPD officers already in 2013 equal a quarter of the number of officers shot in all of 2012.
In Brooklyn, a lieutenant and three officers assigned to the transit division were in plainclothes on patrol in two subway cars of a Manhattan-bound N train shortly after 7:30 p.m. when they noticed a man moving illegally between the cars.
Officers Lukasz Kozicki and Michael Levay stopped the man as the train pulled up to the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop in Dyker Heights, intending to question him and pull him off the subway, Kelly said.
When asked for identification, the suspect appeared to reach for a wallet, but pulled out a 9 mm Taurus and opened fire on the officers, Kelly said. Kozicki, 32, was hit three times -- once in each thigh and once in the groin. Levay, 27, was hit once in the lower back but was able to return fire, fatally shooting the suspect.
One passenger was grazed in the gunfire exchange and wasn't seriously hurt, Kelly said. Other passengers on the train were able to flee onto the platform when the gunfire erupted. The station was not crowded at the time of the shooting, Kelly said.
Kozicki and Levay were taken to Lutheran Medical Center, and were both released Friday as crowds of police officers gathered to show support. Levay flashed a thumbs-up as he was rolled out, and Kozicki smiled as a fellow officer shouted "We love you!"
The suspect, Peter Jourdan, 37, had a past criminal record of five assaults, including one with a knife, officials said.
Just before the subway shooting Thursday, an off-duty officer was shot in the Bronx during an apparent robbery attempt. Officer Juan Pichardo was working at his family's dealership when two men, one of them armed with a handgun, walked into the store and, after pretending to be interested in a vehicle, brandished the weapon.
Pichardo, who was not armed, was shot in the leg during the fracas that ensued. He and another employee managed to wrestle one of the suspects to the ground and disarm him. The second suspect who had entered the store fled to a getaway vehicle outside the building, while Pichardo held the other suspect until police arrived. Police caught up with the getaway car a short time later and arrested three occupants inside.
Pichardo was taken to the hospital with a bullet wound to the leg, but is expected to be OK.
Bloomberg took the opportunity Thursday night to repeat the call for stricter gun control.
“In recent weeks, we've heard some people say that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But sometimes the good guys get shot – and sometimes, they are killed," the mayor said Thursday night from the hospital where the two officers wounded in the Brooklyn incident were recovering. "Tonight, thank God, three good guys – three New York City police officers, who acted heroically – are going to make it. But we owe it to the good guys to do whatever we can to protect them – just as they do whatever they can to protect us. Instead, Washington is letting the bad guys shoot our police officers, our children, our neighbors – and it just has to stop."