Two NYPD officers were shot and injured in the Bronx Wednesday evening while confronting an armed suspect with a long criminal history and a stolen gun.
The incident occurred near the corner of East 187th Street and Beaumont Avenue in the Belmont section just after 8 p.m., Officers were responding to a call of a man with a gun, and when they approached him, he said a few words before opening fire. The uniformed officers then returned fire.
Both officers were taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital, where both are in stable condition and expected to recover, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, adding that they were in good spirits. One of the officers was shot in the arm, while the other was hit near the armpit.
While Officer Alejandra Jacobs was released and is at home home with her family this Thanksgiving night, her partner, Officer Robert Holmes, an 8 year veteran remains hospitalized.
Officer Alejandra Jacobs, a military veteran and a year into her NYPD career, was released from St. Barnabas hospital Thanksgiving morning to a wave of blue support, grateful to be going home more than 12 hours after being shot twice alongside her partner.
"I'm good. Happy Thanksgiving," she said.
Shea said the NYPD is lucky the situation did not end up worse.
"We are very lucky tonight. If you think back, it was last New Year's Eve exactly one year ago, when we had two officers shot in the 105th Precinct, and they were released the following day. It looks like we're on that path again here tonight," said Shea.
"Extraordinary courage tonight. We looked at the video, we saw officers doing their job, protecting the people of this city with incredible bravery," said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. "And then, in the visit to their hospital room, two people of just extraordinary spirit. Officers who are in this work because they want to protect people, they want to save lives.
New video obtained by News 4 shows the seconds-long encounter after a 911 caller alerted police about a man with a gun in Belmont. The images show the moment Jacobs and Holmes came upon a man sitting on a stoop on Beaumont Avenue that police say matched the description of the suspect. According to Shea, the officers asked him to take his hands out of his pockets as Holmes opens the gate. Then the suspect stands up, police say this is when he pulls his gun out and shots were fired. Shea said that Jacobs shoots the suspect three times as Holmes wrestled him to the ground.
The suspect was in custody at Saint Barnabas as well, and is said to be in serious condition after being struck by one of the officers' return gunfire. A senior NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation identified him as Charlie Vasquez, 23, of Brooklyn; the official said Vasquez has nine prior arrests on his record.
A black semi-automatic firearm, a .9-mm handgun, was recovered at the scene. Police say the gun was stolen in Georgia at some point in the past and eventually made its way here.