Two plainclothes NYPD officers responding to a robbery at a commercial business in the Fordham section of the Bronx Monday night were shot and wounded in a gunfight with two male suspects who then escaped, officials said.
At 3 a.m. Tuesday, police were continuing the search for the male suspects after the shooting, which occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m. near 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue.
The officers, one 30 and the other 38, both with at least six years on the job, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, police said. They were being treated Tuesday morning at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Police did not identify either officer because officials were still notifying family.
The 30-year-old officer suffered gunshots to the left arm and the lower back, Commissioner William Bratton said at about 2 a.m. Tuesday during a joint news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The officer is listed in critical but stable condition, Bratton said.
The 38-year-old officer was shot in the chest and left arm and is in stable condition, Bratton said.
“Thank God these officers are doing well and will recover,” de Blasio said at the hospital, where officers packed the hallways.
The shooting came two weeks after two NYPD officers were fatally wounded Dec. 20 in Brooklyn. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed as they sat in their police vehicle on a Brooklyn street by a gunman who had expressed anti-police sentiments. The shooter then fled the scene and took his own life.
Both officers shot Monday were working as part of a five-officer anticrime team, Bratton said. Members of the unit had just ended their shift when a robbery report came over 911 and they began a search for the suspects. The five officers were driving together when they saw two males outside a Chinese restaurant on 184th Street who matched the description of two people who had robbed a bodega, Bratton said.
The officers got out of the vehicle and confronted the suspects, Bratton said, adding that one of the suspects then went into the restaurant and fired multiple times at the officers through the front door. Both officers were hit but managed to return fire.
It was unclear whether the suspects were hit by gunfire, but investigators were checking the case of a man who walked into Columbia Presbyterian Hospital with a gunshot wound to his back, Bratton said.
Bratton said the suspects ran away and carjacked a white Camaro with two women inside. The suspects abandoned the car after crashing it a short time later, Bratton said. Investigators recovered a 44-caliber Ruger handgun they believe the suspects used in the shootout with the officers, Bratton said.
The shooting occured about four blocks south of Fordham University and just over three blocks north of the NYPD’s 46th Precinct, where the two officers are assigned, police said.