Suffolk police say an ex-NYPD officer shot his estranged wife...

Suffolk police say an ex-NYPD officer shot his estranged wife in her Middle Island home, then hit an ambulance responding to the scene on East Bartlet Road south of Middle County Road as he tried to flee in his car. (Oct. 20, 2009) Credit: David Rubin

The retired city officer who police allege broke into his estranged wife's home and shot her was twice ordered this year by a judge to stay away from her, officials said.

Suffolk police said orders of protection were issued in April and September against Darryl Fowler, 43, arrested in his hospital bed Wednesday at Stony Brook University Medical Center and charged with trying to murder his wife, Michelle.

Police said Fowler, who retired from the NYPD 10 years ago, burst through the locked door of the Middle Island home the couple once shared just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. He then went upstairs and shot her as she lay in bed.

Minutes after his wife's teenage daughter called 911, Fowler was at the wheel of a sport utility vehicle on Bartlett Road a short distance away when he sideswiped an ambulance rushing to assist her, swerved off the road and crashed head-on into a tree, police said.

>>VIDEO: Click here to see footage from the crime scene

Michelle, 46, survived the shooting and was airlifted to Stony Brook; Darryl Fowler suffered head lacerations but was conscious when emergency responders reached him. He was taken by ambulance to Stony Brook. Both were listed in stable condition Wednesday. A handgun was recovered from his vehicle, police said.

The attack came after two visits by police for domestic disputes at the townhome on Dorado Court South. In April, police said, Darryl Fowler called 911 from the house and reported his wife bit him; she told officers he'd pushed her, said Det. Sgt. James Madden. They agreed to resolve the matter, and no charges were filed. The next day, a Suffolk family court judge issued Darryl Fowler a stay-away order.

Police were again called there on Sept. 28 by a 911 call from Michelle; the report indicated Fowler damaged the front door when entering, police said. Fowler, who no longer lived at the home, was arrested and charged with criminal contempt for violating the order of protection and criminal mischief. The next day, a Suffolk criminal court judge placed a second order of protection against him.

Michelle's ex-husband, Wayne Cummings of Coram, said she was shot five times, but was expected to survive. "She's the mother of my two kids; she's a good mother, so thank God," he said. "Did she deserve this? No. It's just a bad situation."

The couple have two teenage daughters; the 16-year-old was home during the Tuesday attack but not hurt.

Fowler was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree burglary, assault, aggravated criminal contempt and criminal use of a weapon. Police said he will be arraigned in the hospital bed if he does not get medical clearance to go to court.

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