Policeman Shot Three Times by Mentally Ill Man Doesn’t Return Fire
A man classified as an Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP) by police shot at a police officer who was called to his home by the man’s mother. Two of the bullets from a rifle hit 30-year-old New York City police officer Hart Nguyen in the chest, and one hit him in the arm. He did not return fire. Fortunately his bulletproof vest protected him.
Nguyen’s partner was guarding the back exit at time of the Nguyen entered the home, to prevent the man from escaping. More police arrived and stormed the room the man was holed up in. They found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 29 years old.
When the mother of Andy Sookdeo called police, she told them that her son was not violent and was unarmed—she only mentioned he was acting erratically.
“The mother called 911 because her son’s an EDP,” a source told the New York Post. “When [the officer] gets into the home, he comes out of the bedroom shooting.” NY1 reported that the man shot through a bedroom door as the officer approached. He then barricaded himself inside.
Dozens of police, state troopers, K9 units, and helicopters showed up following the shooting. Two guns were recovered by Sookdeo’s side.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and other officials held a press conference at Jamaica Hospital, where Nguyen was taken after the shooting. The took a look at the bulletproof vest where the bullets hit.
“This young man was definitely saved by his vest,” said Mayor de Blasio at the press conference, via the New York Post. Nguyen had only been on the force a little over two years.
An excerpt from the NYPD Patrol Guide indicates:
“Upon arrival at scene, assess situation as to threat of immediate serious physical injury to EDP, other persons present or members of the service. Take cover, utilize protective shield if available and request additional personnel, if necessary.”
The guide further explains:
“If emotionally disturbed person’s actions constitute immediate threat of serious physical injury or death to himself or others:
— Take reasonable measures to terminate or prevent such behavior. Deadly physical force will be used only as a last resort to protect the life of persons or officers present.”
This could explain why Officer Nguyen did not fire back after he was shot. It seems he was still assessing the situation when surprised by Sookdeo. In any case, the NYPD guide states, “The primary duty of all members of the service is to preserve human life. The safety of ALL persons involved is paramount in cases involving emotionally disturbed persons.”