NYPD officer shot in the leg in Brooklyn

A police officer was shot in the leg

A police officer was shot in the leg in Crown Heights on February 26, 2014, the NYPD said. (Credit: BMR Breaking News / Roy Renna)

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A rookie NYPD cop was shot Wednesday in Brooklyn's Crown Heights by a fleeing farebeater, who was caught within minutes after good Samaritans directed other officers to his hideout, police said.

The officer, James Li, 26, sustained nonlife-threatening injuries to his legs and groin, police said.

Police said the shooting happened about 5 p.m. at Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard after Li and another officer, Randy Chow, 30, spotted two farebeaters -- including the man who would open fire, Rashaun Robinson, 28, of Brooklyn -- sneak onto a B46 bus without paying.

After being taken off the bus, Robinson fired a .45-caliber pistol at least three times from as close as 5 feet, striking Li in the leg several times, according to police. It wasn't immediately known how many bullets hit the officer. The other alleged farebeater is still at large.

The two officers fired seven shots in return, though none struck Robinson, police said.

Good Samaritans tended to Li as Chow radioed for backup, giving a description of the suspects and giving chase. Li was taken to Kings County Hospital Center, where he remained Wednesday night.

Another officer hurt her chin in the pursuit.

Robinson, who has a criminal record and is wanted on a Pennsylvania narcotics charge, was found in an apartment at 455 Schenectady Ave. Police said he had the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson they believe he used in the shooting.

Both officers graduated from December's police class.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Police Commissioner William J. Bratton were to visit with the officers at the hospital.

"I think for anybody, the first time someone turns on you with a gun and starts firing, you can imagine what that experience would be like for any human being, any new officers, and these officers were outstanding in their response," de Blasio said.

Said Bratton: "A dangerous felon now off the street; another firearm off the street."

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