Two New York City police officers responding to a report of a man with a gun were shot in the Bronx during a gun battle with the suspect seconds after they approached him on a building stoop on Wednesday night, according to the police.
One of the officers, a woman who has been on the force for a year, was shot twice in the upper right arm and fired five shots back, striking the suspect, Dermot F. Shea, the New York police commissioner, said at a news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio at St. Barnabas Hospital late Wednesday.
She was expected to survive, as was her partner, a male officer who has been on the force for eight years and was shot in the armpit as he wrestled with the gunman, Commissioner Shea said.
As Commissioner Shea spoke, both officers were being treated at St. Barnabas, where the suspect, who was shot three times, was in surgery. The suspect’s condition was later upgraded to serious from critical, Detective Adam Navarro said by telephone shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday. The officers were in stable condition, he added.
Commissioner Shea declined to identify the officers or the suspect, whom he described as a “career criminal with far too many arrests, still on the streets of New York City.” He said the suspect’s gun had been reported stolen in Georgia last year.
“We are very lucky tonight,” Commissioner Shea said, adding that the officers were in good spirits. The shooting was captured on body camera video, he said.
Mr. de Blasio said the officers showed “incredible bravery” and added that there are “too many guns out there.”
“It’s another example of a gun from out of state, comes into our city, hurts a New Yorker,” Mr. de Blasio said. “This is something we’ve got to deal with in a whole different way. But in the meantime, thank God that there is one more shooter off the streets because of the bravery of these just absolutely extraordinary officers.”
The shooting, shortly after 8 p.m., began after a call to 911 reported a man with a gun at a building on Beaumont Avenue, in the Belmont section of the Bronx, Commissioner Shea said. The two officers walked up to a man matching the description of the suspect who was sitting on the stoop, Commissioner Shea said.
When the male officer asked the man to take his hands out of his pockets, the man stood up, pulled out a gun and opened fire, Commissioner Shea said.
“Within seconds, they are in a gun battle,” he said. As the female officer was shot in the arm and fired five shots back, her partner wrestled with the gunman, Commissioner Shea said. The entire battle lasted about two or three seconds.
Malik Alsaedi, 34, the manager of 7 Days & Nights Deli on 187th Street near the corner of Crotona Avenue, said he was behind the cashier’s desk at around 8 p.m. when he heard gunshots ring out.
He dashed out the door, looked down the block toward Beaumont Avenue and saw police officers running toward the source of the sound.
“When I heard the shots, I didn’t think they were that close. I didn’t think they were a block away,” Mr. Alsaedi said. “But when I walked outside, that’s when I realized it was something serious.”
The attack occurred precisely a year after two New York City police officers were shot and wounded while responding to a domestic violence report in Queens. The police said the assailant, Rondell Goppy, ambushed the two officers with two guns, and they returned fire. Mr. Goppy was killed.
It was the first of three shootings of police officers in a three-month span. The following month, on Christmas Eve, a police officer in Brooklyn was shot and wounded after responding to a domestic violence call. And in January, an officer working with the Gun Violence Suppression Division in the South Bronx was shot in his lower back, just below his bulletproof vest.
A police lieutenant was also shot and wounded during a struggle with a man armed with a gun in the Bronx in July.
The president of the Police Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, who also spoke at the news conference on Wednesday, agreed with Mr. de Blasio that there were too many guns on the streets.
“But perps aren’t afraid to carry them,” he said. “They’re not afraid to put it in their belt, put it in their pocket and pull it out on a police officer. That’s the problem.”
Oswald Feliz, a Democratic member of the New York City Council who represents the Bronx, noted that Wednesday’s shooting happened on the eve of Thanksgiving
“As someone who reps a high-crime district, will always be grateful,” for the New York City Police Department, Mr. Feliz wrote on Twitter. “While ‘politicians’ who live in crime-free neighborhoods attack them for corny political points, cops risk their lives to keep us safe.”
Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat who represents the area, asked for prayers for the officers, writing on Twitter that New Yorkers must support Mayor-elect Eric Adams “as he seeks to crush the epidemic of violence that has taken hold in the Bronx and elsewhere in the City.”
There have been more shootings in the Bronx so far this year than there were in any year at this point since 1996, according to Police Department statistics. There have been 459 so far this year.
The shooting came after an unrelated incident in Canarsie, Brooklyn, where an officer was hit by a car while stopping a vehicle at East 83rd Street and Foster Avenue around 6:38 p.m., the police said. The officer was in critical but stable condition, the police said, and might have a broken leg or ankle as well as lacerations.
Two suspects fled, leaving a vehicle behind, and no one was taken into custody in the Brooklyn incident, the police said.