Off-Duty NYPD Cop Shot After Gunman Approaches Car Stopped at Light: Police

The off-duty officer is expected to recover; the other responding officers did not fire their weapons, and chased down the suspects

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An off-duty NYPD officer was shot in the back in Queens Tuesday night, and police said that two suspects have been arrested.

The incident took place after 10 p.m. on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 62nd Street in the Arverne neighborhood, according to NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey. The 22-year-old officer was in his personal car, stopped at a traffic light, when two men walked up to the car and tapped on the driver's side window with a gun, police said.

The off-duty officer got out of the car, and several shots were fired at him, with one striking him in the shoulder, Corey said at an early morning press conference. The officer returned fire, but did not hit either of the suspects, who then fled on foot.

Uniformed officers nearby heard the gunfire and rushed to the scene. After rendering aid and sharing a description of the suspects over the radio, they put the off-duty officer in a car and took him to Jamaica Hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition, police said.

The officer's identity has not been released.

Not long after, public safety team officers later saw two men three blocks away who fit the descriptions of the suspects, according to police. As the officers attempted to stop the men, they got out of the unmarked police vehicle, which is when the suspects once again opened fire. One of the shots hit the rear bumper on the passenger side.

The officers did not return fire, Corey said, but rather chased after the suspects on foot, catching up with them after a short pursuit. A gun was also recovered from the suspects, police said.

The two suspects were arrested for the shooting, police said. It was not clear what charges they would face.

Mayor Eric Adams also spoke at the press conference, saying that "to see something like this happen repeatedly in our city is unacceptable."

"When these two individuals shot at a passenger driving a car, they didn't shoot at a police officer, they shot at a civilian. And then to find out they shot at police officers, it sent a message," Adams said. "They had no regard of who they were trying to kill...they don't care."

Adams also called out politicians who he claimed are getting in the way of policing efforts that would reduce the number of guns on the streets.

"A numerical minority is standing in the way of making smart decisions to not only rid ourselves of those who are shooters, but also the guns on our streets. The NYPD is doing their job, 6,000 guns removed from the streets last year, close to 400 since I've been in office," Adams said. "We continue to state it's time for us to get the help we need...we're going to do our job but we can only make our city safe f we get the help we need and deserve."

The mayor also commended the officers for showing a “great level of restraint” by not firing back at the suspects.

The shooting comes as New York police prepare to pay tribute to one of two young officers killed by gunfire while answering a call for help on Jan. 22 in Harlem. Officer Wilbert Mora’s funeral is set for Wednesday morning. Jason Rivera was eulogized and posthumously promoted to detective on Friday.

The officer shot was the 6th so far this year in New York City.

An investigation is ongoing.

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