NEW YORK—A New York Police Department officer was shot in the chest early Thursday morning while patrolling a housing project on the Lower East Side. The bullet was stopped by his bulletproof vest. The suspect is still on the loose.
At approximately 3:40 a.m., Officer Brian Groves, 30, and his partner were patrolling the Seward Park Extension building at 64 Essex St.
Groves opened a stairwell door on the 22nd floor, when he allegedly saw a suspect holding a silver handgun. He yelled to his partner, and then chased the suspect down several flights of stairs. While between the 18th and 19th floors, the suspect turned and fired a single shot.
Groves returned four shots, and continued to chase the suspect before collapsing on the 15th floor. It is unknown if the gunman was hit by Groves’s bullets.
“The shooter, who shot from about 8 feet away, hit [Groves] right in the middle of the chest—but his bullet-resistant jacket or vest saved his life,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an event in Queens Thursday morning.
Bloomberg said patrols are done in New York City Housing Authority and private buildings upon the building owner’s request. He said the patrols are “instrumental in saving lives and in bringing down crime.”
The mayor took the opportunity to criticize people who want to place arbitrary restrictions on police officers and also hinder the city’s ability to take illegal guns off the street.
“In spite of Washington’s inaction, I think it’s fair to say the work of the NYPD has given us a crime rate that is the envy of nearly every other large city in the country. But right here in New York City, we have interest groups, politicians, and now judges that seem hell-bent on reversing the progress that we’ve made,” Bloomberg said.
Officials said Groves is the ninth police officer shot this year.
This shooting comes just a day after a man attacked an officer in a Queens subway station—stabbing the officer in the eye.
Groves is in Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for bruising to his chest. He is a father of two daughters, the youngest one just 2 weeks old.
The number of murders has been below 600 per year in the past decade. Bloomberg said the city is on track for fewer than 500 murders this year.
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