An NYPD officer on Staten Island shot and killed a domestic-violence suspect Tuesday who had just opened fire on cops attempting to arrest him — an encounter that left another officer with a gunshot wound to the left hand, the police commissioner said.
The injured officer, whose name was not disclosed, underwent surgery Tuesday morning, Commissioner James O'Neill said.
The shooting happened after officers from the 120th Precinct responded at 8:19 a.m. to a neighborhood because a woman had spotted the suspect, a man involved with her in a domestic dispute Monday night, and called the police, O'Neill said.
From inside a police car, she saw the suspect on Prince Street and pointed him out to officers, O'Neill said. The 39-year-old suspect had served five years in prison for an earlier shooting, O’Neill said.
"The suspect immediately became combative with the officers and violently resisted the arrest — resisted their efforts to place him under arrest," O'Neill said, speaking at a news conference at the hospital where the wounded officer was treated.
During the struggle, an officer fired a taser that struck the suspect in the back, O’Neill said.
“The man pulled out a gun, and the officers, showing no hesitation, grabbed his hands to direct the muzzle away from everyone,” O’Neill said. “The man then fired two rounds. The police officer returned fire three times, striking the man. In the exchange of gunfire, one female police officer was struck one time in the left hand."
O'Neill said the department was still investigating who fired the bullet that struck the officer's hand — the suspect or the officer.
The NYPD did not disclose the names of the officers involved or the dead suspect.
The officer who fired the bullets has been an NYPD cop for three years, and this was his first shooting, the department's top spokesman, Phil Walzak, said in an email.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at the news conference with O’Neill, said the wounded officer was an immigrant whose “life’s goal” has been to be a cop.
“Thank God she is going to be OK,” said de Blasio, who added that he met with the officer’s mother before the surgery.
Patrick Lynch, president of the officers’ labor union, the Police Benevolent Association, said: “When that gun was raised in that perp’s hands, our police officers didn’t hesitate, they pushed right in, knowing that they can be injured and shot and she was.”
O'Neill showed an image he said was captured by an officer's body camera of the suspect holding a handgun. Body cameras have been mandatory since February for all uniformed patrol cops in the NYPD.
"We are going to be able to see how it played out, step by step," O'Neill said.
With Nicole Brown and Anthony M. DeStefano