An off-duty officer resting between weekend shifts was shot while sleeping inside his car at a police precinct in East Harlem, police and city officials said Saturday.
The officer woke around 6:15 a.m. when a bullet broke through one of the car windows and struck the officer in the head, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said outside NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital that afternoon.
An on-duty sergeant found the officer after he exited the car, bleeding from a gunshot wound. The injured officer received aid and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery. Doctors confirmed the officer suffered a fractured skull.
Sewell said the officer had concluded an 8-hour shift around 2:30 a.m. at Central Park, where he was covering a New Year's Eve event, before returning to the precinct. She said the officer chose to rest in his personal vehicle at the 25th Precinct before starting his next shift at 7 a.m.
Hours later, investigators were still working to determine who fired the bullet and if the officer was the intended target. The commissioner said there were no other 911 calls for gunfire in the area at the time of the shooting, and no other officers heard anything.
"We are grateful that our officer is recovering as we know this could have been a very tragic outcome," Sewell said.
The new police commissioner was joined at the afternoon press conference by newly sworn-in Mayor Eric Adams.
Adams vowed to "find the gun, find the person who discharged the weapon and those who believe they are going to destroy our city with gun and gang violence."
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information about the officer shooting.