Suspect in Brooklyn police shooting arraigned

Shooting suspect Rashaun Robinson is taken from the

Shooting suspect Rashaun Robinson is taken from the 71st Precinct in Brooklyn on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. He is charged with shooting New York City Police Officer James Li. (Credit: Theodore Parisienne)

The Brooklyn man suspected of shooting and wounding a rookie NYPD officer Wednesday evening was held without bail Thursday night on multiple counts of attempted murder and other charges, officials said.

Rashaun Robinson, 28, was charged with two counts of aggravated attempted murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault and criminal use of a firearm and related offenses, according to police.

He has a criminal record and is wanted on a Pennsylvania narcotics charge, police said.


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According to police, Officer James Li, 26, was shot and wounded in both legs by Robinson after the officer and his partner saw him enter through the rear doors of a city bus without paying. Both officers were in uniform at the time, police said.

Li was taken to Kings County Hospital Center where he remained in stable condition Thursday after surgery. He was expected to remain in the hospital for several days, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday night.

Police said the shooting happened about 5 p.m. at Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn after Li and another officer, Randy Chow, 30, spotted two farebeaters -- including Robinson -- sneaking onto a B46 bus without paying, police said. Both rookies graduated from the police academy in December.

According to police, the officers followed Robinson and the other man on to the bus and told them to get off. Then Robinson, after leaving the bus, pulled a .45-caliber pistol and fired at Li at least three times at close range, striking him in the legs and groin, police said.

Both Chow and Li fired at Robinson but didn't hit him, police said.

While two off-duty emergency medical technicians in the parking lot of a nearby White Castle restaurant tended to the wounded Li, Chow chased Robinson and radioed details of his pursuit, Bratton said. Robinson was apprehended nearby and the Smith & Wesson handgun he allegedly used was recovered. The other alleged farebeater is still at large and police were trying to obtain video surveillance images to see if Robinson and the unidentified man were walking together for some distance before the incident.

Bratton said Li and Chow had been working together since their graduation from the academy and lauded their actions.

"The training they received in the academy was of such a caliber that they were able to deal with a life-threatening situation in an extraordinarily brave fashion," Bratton told reporters.

Bratton acknowledged that the department preferred that the two rookie officers didn't work together without direct supervision. Bratton said that he plans to have new officers, particularly those working high-crime Operation Impact areas, team up with more experienced officers, partly as a way of alleviating problems about stop and frisk activities.

With Matthew Chayes

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