Police are looking for the suspect who shot Gracie twice on Tuesday causing paralysis. Newsday's Steve Langford reports from Glen Cove. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

Who shot Gracie?

That's what Glen Cove police are trying to determine after the 5-year-old feline was discovered meowing in pain in the backyard of a home Tuesday night on Taft Place — and a subsequent MRI and CT scan revealed Gracie had been shot twice.

Glen Cove police spokesman Det. Lt. John Nagle said one bullet lodged in the cat's abdomen, another near its spine — the second bullet leaving Gracie partially paralyzed. A GoFundMe page already has raised more than $6,000 for an operation to remove the bullet near the cat's spine, Nagle said, with veterinarians hoping Gracie may be able to walk again. Though, Nagle said, the prognosis remains unclear.

On Thursday the Nassau County SPCA announced it will offer a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case, SPCA board president Gary Rogers said.

Nagle said the incident unfolded Tuesday night when a local resident heard the cat "crying" — and found it in a neighbor's yard.

"What happens is a woman takes her kids for a walk," Nagle said. "When she returns to the house she hears an animal crying and goes to investigate. She finds this cat, just beyond the neighbor's chain link fence, and the animal is crying and it can't walk. Another neighbor, who happens to be a vet, comes over. She gets a cat cage, places it in the yard — and the cat immediately crawls over to it ... She takes the cat to her vet, where she works, thinking maybe it's been hit by a car. That's when she finds out it's not damage from a car, but that there's two bullets."

It turned out Gracie had an electronic chip, which allowed the vet to reach out to the owner to let them know what happened, Nagle said.

Police in Glen Cove are searching for the gunman who...

Police in Glen Cove are searching for the gunman who shot 5-year-old Gracie the cat twice, leaving her paralyzed. Credit: Glen Cove Police

Nagle said Gracie's owner then contacted police, who opened an investigation.

Based on the circumstances — the fact the cat was semi-paralyzed meant it couldn't have traveled far after being shot — Nagle said investigators believe Gracie was shot sometime between 7 and 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday within a two or three block radius near Taft Place or nearby Sherwood Road. He said investigators believe the cat was not shot with a BB or pellet gun, but rather with a small caliber handgun or long gun.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact them at 516-676-1002 — or online at tips@glencovepd.org. Tipsters can also call 516-843-7722.

Any suspect in the case is facing animal cruelty and reckless endangerment charges, Nagle said.

"This is serious stuff," Rogers, the SPCA spokesman, said. "This is not just that a cat was shot. But, you have a high-velocity bullet in a residential area and that can travel far."

As Nagle said: "You're shooting a weapon in a residential area? We don't want anyone shooting animals and we don't want anyone shooting in a residential neighborhood."

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