Plainclothes NYPD officer shot; 1 suspect in custody

(AP) -- A plainclothes New York City police officer riding in an unmarked car was shot and critically wounded Saturday evening by a man he and other officers were pursuing after suspecting him of carrying a gun, a police spokeswoman said.

The on-duty officer, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition, Deputy Chief Kim Royster said. The suspected shooter was arrested hours after police flooded the scene in a section of Queens that neighbors described as quiet and safe.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton were at the hospital, City Hall officials said. A news conference was expected later.

The officers pulled their car up to the man because his clothing appeared to show a dip in his waistband suggestive of carrying a handgun, Royster said, cautioning that the account was preliminary based on an ongoing investigation. The suspect then fired at least two rounds into the car.

Hours after the 6:15 p.m. shooting, police officers who had flooded the area were beginning to clear. At one point, teams of officers could be seen walking on roofs, searching house-by-house and peering into backyards and under cars with flashlights as a search for suspects was underway.

Neighbors near the scene of the shooting were surprised by the violence and described the area as quiet and safe.

"You walk down the street, no trouble," said Sandreaus Adam, 52. "This is not a neighborhood where you're just going to hear shots."

The shooting, the fifth of an on-duty officer in as many months in New York, comes after two NYPD officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn.

Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot at close range as they were sitting in their patrol car Dec. 20 in Brooklyn. The suspect, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then ran into a nearby subway station and fatally shot himself.

Those two officers -- who were in-uniform and sitting in a marked police car -- were ambushed by Brinsley, who before the shooting posted on an Instagram account that he was planning to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for Garner's death.

On Jan. 5, two plainclothes officers who were part of an anti-crime unit in the Bronx were shot and wounded. Each officer survived two gunshot wounds.


Associated Press write Tom Hays contributed to this report.

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