What to Know
- NYPD Officer Hart Nguyen was shot multiple times by a man who then barricaded himself in a home with two guns, police say
- Nguyen was released from the hospital and is in good condition; he was hit twice in the chest and once in the arm
- Officers surrounded the home in an hours-long standoff; the suspected gunman killed himself, according to police
The 30-year-old NYPD officer who was shot during an hours-long standoff that ended when the gunman killed himself Thursday was released from the hospital Friday afternoon.
Dozens of NYPD officers clapped and cheerful bagpipes played as Hart Nguyen left Jamaica Hospital shortly after 4 p.m. and got into a waiting vehicle with his family.
Outside the hospital Friday, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said Nguyen was being supported by his family and the police department.
"We are lucky he survived. A lot of rounds fired at a very close distance. So he feels real happy to be alive, and he's surrounded by people who love him," O'Neill said.
Nguyen was shot several times when he responded to a call about a 29-year-old emotionally disturbed man on Ridgewood Avenue in Cypress Hills, police said.
Officials said Nguyen's bulletproof vest kept him from suffering injuries that could have killed him. Holding up the vest, Commissioner O'Neill said Thursday, "I did see the blunt-force trauma injuries on the officer's chest, so this vest definitely saved his life."
When Nguyen and other officers went to the home, the mother of the suspected gunman told them her son may try to run from them. She said in the 911 call her son was unarmed.
One officer went around the back of the home as Nguyen headed to a rear bedroom, where the man was barricaded.
When Nguyen went to the bedroom to talk with the man, he fired through the door multiple times, hitting Nguyen, police said. Police estimate it was 13 seconds from the time the officer entered the apartment to the time the gunman fired shots at the officer.
A couple who lived above the shooter's apartment said they heard the gunfire and could only think about keeping their 10-month-old child safe.
"All of a sudden, we hear a bunch of gunshots, so we grabbed the baby," the newborn's father said. "It was terrifying."
Nguyen did not return fire, according to police.
Two bullets hit Nguyen's bulletproof vest and another bullet hit his arm after bouncing off his watch.
Nguyen then retreated from the home and called for backup. Cell phone video shows him walking away from the home with another officer; blood can be seen running down his arm.
He was treated by EMS at the scene and taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. Mayor de Blasio and other officials visited with him at the hospital Thursday.
At a press conference later in the evening, the mayor said Nguyen is from the 75th Precinct, has more than two years of experience on the job and was in good spirits during the visit.
"He had a great attitude, he was actually even trying to make light of the situation in his own hospital bed. Showing a lot of spirit, a lot of energy," de Blasio said.
The suspected shooter was holed up in the home for several hours as police converged on the area. Heavily-armored officers and vehicles, as well as numerous ambulances and NYPD cars were at the scene during the standoff. Some officers were seen perched on nearby rooftops.
Dozens of residents watched the scene unfold from cars, sidewalks and their homes.
"It was crazy," said Ignacio Rodriguez. "Even when I stuck my head out the window, an officer was like, 'Stick your head back inside!'"
Police negotiators tried to talk with the suspect, identified Friday as Andy Sookedo, and get him into police custody.
But when police made entry into the home they found Sookedo dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, O'Neill said, adding that a revolver, semi-automatic handgun and ammo were found at his side.
In addition to the weapons, Sookedo had a good amount of pills and had recently gotten a new BMW, which has raised questions about how he funded the car and what he was doing with the medication, police said.