Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Friendly Fire Wounded NYPD Officer Shot Responding to Bronx Brawl: Police

The 25-year-old NYPD officer shot in the ankle responding to a fight that broke out at a large party in the Bronx over the weekend was injured by friendly fire, a police spokesman tells NBC 4 New York.

Officer Sherrod Stuart was injured when he, in plainclothes, and other officers responded to the brawl at Third Avenue and East 137th Street in Mott Haven early Saturday.

"He's doing good, recovering day by day," brother Armani Stuart told NBC 4 New York Monday. "He's in good spirits, his family's around him, he's having fun. Humble." 

He's awaiting a second surgery, another brother, Jazzwal Stuart, said. 

Cops chased a man, identified as Christopher Rice, after arriving at the scene. The NYPD spokesman said officers coming around a corner faced gunfire from Rice and returned fire.

Stuart was shot in the ankle during the chase, apparently by a stray police bullet. He shot Rice four times and Rice has been in custody since the weekend, police say. 

Rice was charged Monday with menacing, assault on a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD. The charges are not expected to change despite friendly fire causing Stuart's injuries because authorities allege Rice's actions led to the officer being shot.

Rice, who has five prior arrests, had been released from custody only three hours before the shooting after being charged with fare-beating.

Following the fight, five people were hospitalized with stab wounds, NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. A semi-automatic firearm was found near where Stuart was shot, and three other guns were recovered from the surrounding area, Bratton said

Attorney information for Rice wasn't immediately available.  

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