A New York City police office whose skull was broken when he was shot while sleeping in his person vehicle between shifts has been released from the hospital.
Cheered on by his department colleagues, the officer walked out of the hospital Sunday surrounded by scores of officers joined in support of the officer shot a day earlier.
Commissioner Keechant Sewell held a news conference hours after her swearing in Saturday to announce that the officer had a fractured skull and underwent surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian hospital, where a doctor said the bullet missed vital structures in his head by millimeters after entering his temple. Bullet fragments were removed from his wound, the doctor said.
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“We are lucky, fortunate and grateful on this New Year’s Day,” Sewell said.
Sewell said the shooting occurred around 6:15 a.m. in the parking lot of a precinct house in East Harlem when the officer was awakened by the sound of glass shattering in his car and felt pain in the left side of his head.
The officer left the vehicle and was aided by a sergeant who saw blood coming from his head before an ambulance took him to the hospital, Sewell said.
She said it was unknown whether the seven-year member of the force was targeted, but the round was apparently fired from “a significant distance away” and other officers sleeping in their vehicles nearby did not hear gunfire.
“It’s hard to tell who the intended target was, if any, but let me say this: There are no stray bullets. There is somebody firing that weapon and we intend to locate that person if possible,” she said.
The commissioner said detectives were canvassing the area for evidence, including videos.
He was sleeping in his vehicle because precinct bunks were full, officials said. A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest.
Authorities said the bullet seemed to have been deflected by the rear passenger window it appeared to go through, or perhaps by the officer's skull.
Sewell said the officer had worked a full shift Friday in Central Park and was resting before starting another shift at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.