A police officer who just graduated from the academy in December was shot in the leg in Brooklyn Wednesday evening as he and another officer sought to arrest two men allegedly trying to get on a bus without paying.
The alleged gunman was arrested, police said.
Officials said two rookie officers, James Li and Randy Chow, were on patrol near Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Brownsville when they saw two men enter a B46 bus through the back door.
Li and Chow took the alleged farebeaters off the bus, but the suspects started running away, NYPD Chief Philip Banks said at a news conference.
One of the suspects turned and fired at the officers from a distance of about 10 feet, hitting Li in the upper thigh, said Banks.
Li fired back, discharging his gun five times. Chow fired twice.
"They've only been on the job for a few months, and they responded like seasoned veterans, and it's something we as New Yorkers can be very proud of," said Mayor de Blasio.
Other responding officers found the alleged gunman inside a nearby building. The 28-year-old suspect has six prior arrests and is wanted in Pennsylvania on narcotics charges, according to police.
Li and Chow both graduated from the police academy in December.
The rookie cops were patrolling the area as part of NYPD's Operation Impact, part of which includes monitoring buses in an ongoing effort to protect drivers from assault, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Li and Chow were described as "being in good spirits."
"They did an outstanding job. I'm very proud of them," said Bratton.
Li was assisted at the scene by two off-duty EMTs as they awaited backup. The EMS officers, Khadijah Hall and Shaun Alexander, happened to be in the area and ran over to help when they heard the gunshots, according to the FDNY.
The EMTs spoke to media Thursday, and Alexander said, "I don't call myself a hero. I do this every day."
He described Li as being calm as they waited for more help to arrive.
The wounded officer and his partner were taken to Kings County Hospital, along with a third officer who fell and cut her chin as she ran toward the scene.