What to Know
- Men in a car fired near officers in Flatbush on Tuesday night, leading to a large police response and manhunt
- Although a police union said the men fired at the officers, police later said they believe the officers were not the intended targets
- A manhunt and investigation were underway Wednesday morning and many streets around the scene of the drive-by were closed to traffic
Gunfire that police union members initially said was targeted at NYPD officers spurred a dragnet for four men in a car overnight, officials said.
Police descended on Flatbush near East 23rd Street after a pair of officers on foot patrol heard two shots ring out nearby at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Neither was hurt, but the Sergeants Benevolent Association said they were targeted by the gunfire; NYPD officials later said they weren't targeted.
Authorities said that four men thought to have fired the shots drove by the officers in a dark sedan. It's not clear who they were shooting at, but union officials said the suspects ditched the vehicle afterward.
The scare Tuesday night came amid high tensions in police departments across the country after eight officers were ambushed and killed in Louisiana and Texas.
Adding to the tension, police said that around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday a man drove by the 66th precinct -- which provides police services to Borough Park, Midwood and Kensington -- and made a hand gesture at officers as if he were firing a gun. That exchange is part of the investigation, although police said no connection had been found.https://www.instagram.com/p/BIEdwBmjnpV
Streets surrounding the scene of the shooting were closed Wednesday morning amid a police manhunt. Police tape and NYPD vans and cars blocked intersections. Evidence markers lined the ground as officers shined their flashlights looking for evidence. A full moon lingered overhead as the sun began to rise.
Longtime Flatbush resident Shelley Worrell said she was going out to do her laundry at a laundromat Tuesday night when she heard helicopters overhead.
"Seeing all this activity on my street corner is very disturbing," Worrell said. "This is a very trying time for our nation and just to see it right here on our street corner, it's alarming. I wasn't expecting it."
Another Flatbush resident named Jedran said he went outside after playing video games and saw a bunch of police officers. He said everywhere feels dangerous these days.
"We're living in a world that is not safe. It's almost like everywhere that you go there's shots," Jean said. "People will just shoot at you and you've got to expect it. That's life. That's what it is."
NYPD officers have been patrolling in pairs in the wake of the Baton Rouge shooting. Cops with long guns and tactical gear were also added at NYPD buildings for security following the attack in Baton Rouge.
Earlier this week, the phrase "kill all cops" was spray painted on a utility pole on Long Island.
On Sunday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the nation and the police profession are "in uncharted waters."