The man accused of shooting a police officer during a chase in Brooklyn Wednesday says he fired his gun because he "hates cops," according to the president of the police union.
Rashaun Robinson, 28, appeared in court Thursday to face multiple charges, including attempted murder, in Wednesday's shooting.
NYPD officers appeared in court as a show of solidarity for the shot rookie officer, James Li. Robinson didn't say anything in court, but PBA President Pat Lynch told reporters that when officers asked him why he shot Li, Robinson responded: "I hate cops."
"That's it. No other reason. That's a person that has no heart, no soul," said Lynch.
Robinson has six prior arrests and is wanted in Pennsylvania on narcotics charges. He was arraigned Thursday and remanded to jail without bail.
His attorney did not speak to reporters after the arraignment.
Li, who was shot while pursuing Robinson and another man allegedly trying to get on a Brooklyn bus without paying, was patrolling what the MTA says is the most dangerous bus route in the city.
The NYPD said Li and his partner, Randy Chow, had just graduated from the police academy in December.
The MTA told NBC 4 New York on Thursday that the officers were patrolling the B46 line because the agency had recently reached out to the NYPD for extra patrols and officers following a rash of assaults and other crimes on the route.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said there have been 41 assaults on the B46 line, which goes from Bed-Stuy to Flatlands, since Jan. 1, an average of nearly one per day.
That makes the line "far and away the most dangerous in the city," Ortiz said.
The MTA said the number of assaults is an increase, but did not provide previous years' numbers.
Li and Chow were on patrol Wednesday evening near Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Brownsville when they saw two men enter a B46 bus through the back door, according to police.
The suspects fled after Li and Chow took them off the bus, and one turned and fired from about 10 feet away, police said. Li was struck in the upper thigh area and is in stable condition.
He fired back 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.