Two NYPD officers from Long Island wounded in a shootout Tuesday with a suspect will remain hospitalized until at least Thanksgiving, officials said.
Meanwhile, police are trying to sort out the circumstances of the shooting and how the gunman, who was killed, legally possessed firearms after several domestic violence complaints against him, officials said Wednesday.
Officers Christopher Wells of Suffolk County and Joseph Murphy of Nassau County were injured after a suspect identified as Rondell Goppy, 41, began firing at the cops upon returning to his Queens home and finding the officers there, according to investigators.
The officers had accompanied Goppy's wife to her home after she reported a Monday night domestic violence incident Tuesday morning at the 105th precinct.
The cops returned fire and Goppy, who police said worked as a peace officer at the City University of New York, was killed.
CUNY officials didn’t return repeated calls for comment. Police said Goppy had no criminal record.
Wells, who was shot in the leg, and Murphy, who was shot in the hands, were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where they remained in stable condition Wednesday. A police spokesman said that both officers were expected to remain in the hospital at least overnight.
In a news conference at the hospital Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said there had been previous calls to police from Goppy’s home, where he lived with his 41-year-old wife, over domestic violence incidents.
Goppy and the woman had been together for 24 years, married for 17 years and living at the residence for 15, Shea said, adding they had children who were not home at the time of the incident.
Police said two firearms were found at the scene: an empty Glock 9-mm which had been fired and another that had not been used. A third weapon was later found not at the scene.
A law enforcement source said Tuesday that Goppy’s three licensed firearms were removed from the home due to the domestic violence history. But they were returned recently to him by the NYPD, which determined that he was fit to get the guns back, the source said.
The circumstances surrounding the return of the firearms were being investigated by the NYPD, according to a department spokesman.
As part of the investigation, police were seeking to obtain a search warrant for the home where the shooting took place, said a law enforcement source.
During Shea’s news conference Tuesday, Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said the incident was an example of how a domestic dispute could get out of control.
"What would happen if a social worker was there and a police officer wasn’t?" Lynch asked rhetorically, referring to a city pilot program in which mental health workers respond to 911 calls for emotionally disturbed people instead of police, unless there is a threat of violence. "We need to be there and remember they called us to be there."
With Matthew Chayes