NYPD Cop Recovering After Shooting; 2 Questioned: Sources

The officer was shot in the right thigh while responding to reports of shots fired in East New York

By Andrew Siff, Tracie Strahan and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Friday, Aug 23, 2013  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Detectives are questioning two

NBC 4 New York

Detectives are questioning two "persons of interest" in connection with the shooting of an NYPD officer on foot patrol who was wounded while responding to reports of shots fired near a housing project in Brooklyn late Thursday. Tracie Strahan reports.

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The NYPD officer who was shot while on foot patrol in one of the city's most violent neighborhoods was out of the hospital and recovering at home Friday as detectives continued to question two persons of interest in connection with the shooting, according to law enforcement sources.

"Thank God I'm OK," Jamil Sarwar said, smiling, from inside his Queens home where he was recovering, surrounded by family. 

Sarwar, 30, and his partner were responding to a shots-fired call from officers in an elevated observation tower on Sutter Avenue in Cypress Hills late Thursday when they heard additional shots and went into a Fountain Avenue building to take cover, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. 

Once they were inside, Sarwar, a cop for a year and a half, realized he was shot in the thigh, Kelly said. He was taken to the hospital to be treated and was released Friday afternoon. 

Authorities say the shot that hit the police officer appears to have originated from one of the buildings in the development, possibly from a rooftop where investigators recovered four shell casings, Kelly said.

Detectives were questioning two "persons of interest" Friday in connection with the shooting, law enforcement sources said. 

Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says it's unclear if the officer was targeted or if the shot was random. Officers were looking for the victim of the shooting that prompted the initial radio call.

Neighbors of Sarwar said they were proud of the rookie officer, who had been named to the NYPD's Operation Impact team, which pairs young cops with veteran officers to combat high-crime areas, but worried about his safety in such dangerous work.

"We don't like things like this happening in our community," said neighbor Amir Hossain. 

"When I watched the news, I was like, 'Oh, my God -- he's my friend,'" said another neighbor, Carla Beroy.

An NYPD van drove in front of the Cypress Hills housing projects Friday calling on the community to come forward with details about the shooting.

Other people who live in the area said violence is far too common.

"Every weekend we have to live like this," said Maria Paredes.

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