NYPD: Officer from Long Island saved by bulletproof vest, released from hospital
A judge denied bail to the 20-year-old Brooklyn man accused of shooting an NYPD cop from Long Island in the bulletproof vest on Christmas Eve, according to court records.
William Moss, who is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault and other crimes, is alleged to have fired at the cop around 9 p.m. Thursday as the officer interviewed Moss' girlfriend, whose mom had called 911 for help dealing with Moss.
The shot officer is Connor Boalick, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
According to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, the officer's vest had stopped the bullet before it could penetrate through to his skin, and he was discharged from the hospital hours later.
Moss' attorney, listed in court records as Robin Ezekiel Gordon Leavitt of the Legal Aid Society, could not be immediately reached for comment Saturday morning.
The case is due back in court Wednesday, court records show.
After the officer was shot, two other officers nearby fired at least seven shots at the alleged shooter, but none of the police bullets struck him, and he was detained one or two blocks away following a foot pursuit, Shea said after midnight on Christmas Day.
Shea called the officer’s fortune a "miracle."
"I will thank God that we are not here under more dire circumstances," Shea said, speaking at a news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio at Kings County Hospital Center. Hours later, Boalick was discharged from the hospital, according to Sgt. Jessica McRorie, an NYPD spokeswoman.
At the news conference, de Blasio said he and Shea had met with Boalick's parents.
"The look of relief on their face is unforgettable," de Blasio said. "But also, they felt that this was a Christmas miracle, that their son is alive and well. Thank God for that."
Just before 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Shea said, there had been two 911 calls pleading for police help at a house near Bergen Street and Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood.
"What you heard was a mother calling 911 repeatedly and essentially saying, ‘Get here quick, get here now, he’s gonna come over here, and he’s gonna shoot the place up,’ " Shea said.
The commissioner added that he listened to recordings of those calls and watched the responding officers’ body-worn camera footage.
De Blasio said a man threatened his girlfriend and said he was "coming to do her harm."
As the officers are seen interviewing the girlfriend — the caller’s daughter — "the perpetrator arrives … you see the girlfriend point out, and next thing you hear, shots being fired. Our officer is struck once in the back," said Shea, holding up the vest.
The other officers shot at the man but missed, then chased him. He eventually acceded to repeated commands to drop the gun, "and eventually the perpetrator puts the gun down on the sidewalk, lays down, and he’s taken into custody without any further violence," Shea said.
Court papers provided by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office charging Moss with five felonies say that Boalick had been with fellow cops Aisha Walker, Alexis Smith, Sean Claxton, Vanessa Duncan and Jane Duncan, all wearing NYPD uniforms. Moss is accused of "discharg[ing] a firearm towards the aforementioned group"; Boalick "had been shot in the back." Soon thereafter, the officer who saw Moss with the firearm, which he was seen dropping before being arrested, is Tyrell Major, the court papers say.
As for the injured officer, who is 27 years old and has been on the police force for about 2½ years, Shea said, "He is in a little pain, but he is in extremely good spirits."
"It’s Christmas Eve. This is a time when you would expect peace. You would expect harmony. What happened tonight — a man threatened his girlfriend, threatened her violently, said he was coming to do her harm, that’s what happened tonight in Brooklyn," de Blasio said. "And because the NYPD was there, that woman is alive right now."
Late Christmas morning, a woman who answered the door at the officer's home in Nassau County declined to comment, saying: "We’re not up for it."
With Antonio Planas