A 32-year-old police officer was shot early Wednesday responding to a home burglary on Long Island, and two suspects are in custody, authorities said.
Nassau County Police Officer Mohit Arora, a six-year veteran of the department, was taken to the hospital in critical condition after the shooting in New Hyde Park, but his condition has since been upgraded to stable and he is expected to survive. He was recovering after surgery on his wounded hip, and his family told NBC 4 New York "he is OK, he says he's feeling better."
"We were scared," said Arora's uncle Dinesh Kumar. "When we heard that now he's doing good, now we're happy."
Authorities said Arora was shot shortly before 2 a.m. by one of the suspects running out of the Campbell Street home as police approached. Two suspects were apprehended, and charges are pending, police said.
Inspector Kenneth Lack, a police spokesman, said the house in the alleged burglary had been targeted. He did not elaborate, but a neighbor told NBC 4 New York the unidentified homeowners run a takeout restaurant and the thieves may have been after cash.
A gun was recovered at the scene.
Police had closed off half of New Hyde Park as they conducted a manhunt for the suspects. The gunfire and subsequent huge police response, including the NYPD, awakened the community.
"I saw 20 police with their M16s out by my house," said neighbor Jim Brolley. "It's a little scary because you don't know what's happening."
Police said they weren't looking for anyone else and there is no public threat.
"Anyone who would shoot a policeman is a piece of garbage in my book," said neighbor Amy Morley.
Arora's sister said he had always wanted to be a cop.
"He did a great job," she said on her way to see her brother at the hospital.
Published at 9:41 AM EDT on Aug 15, 2013