Rest officer shot dead while sleeping in car outside Harlem police station
A New York City police officer was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot while sleeping in a car outside a train station in East Harlem early on Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams said at a conference press a few hours after taking the oath as head of the city.
The officer, whose name has not been released, had worked eight hours on New Years Eve, officials said, and fell asleep in his personal car in a parking lot next to the station’s home. 25th Precinct on East 119th Street to rest before its next shift started at 7 a.m.
When the officer woke up around 6:15 a.m., he noticed his rear window was shattered and he felt a pain in his head, officials said.
Police said they determined the bullet was fired from a distance. There was no initial indication that the officer had been targeted, and no suspect had yet been identified. Investigators will determine if the shot was a stray bullet, officials said.
But Mr Adams, who visited the officer and his family at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, said the shooting reflected a problem that needed an immediate solution.
“It is a horrible act that has taken place,” Mr. Adams said. “We don’t start to introduce the new year by introducing violence. This is unacceptable.
Keechant Sewell, the new police commissioner, told the press conference that no officer who was outside the station at the time had heard gunshots and that there had no calls to 911 in the area for gunfire. The shooting was also not caught on video cameras at the police station, she said.
When the officer, who Commissioner Sewell said has been a seven-year veteran of the Department, got out of his vehicle, others noticed blood dripping from his head. He was rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery and doctors determined he had a fractured skull, Commissioner Sewell said.
“We are lucky, lucky and grateful,” she said. “This incident highlights that there are too many guns in the wrong hands.”
Saturday’s shooting served as a vivid example of what Mr. Adams did with his campaign platform when he took office.
Gun violence reached record levels in New York City in 2018 and 2019. But during the coronavirus pandemic, shootings increased dramatically – staying well below the peaks of the 1980s and 1990s but taking a heavy toll on some neighborhoods, including part of East Harlem. where the officer was shot on Saturday.
Gun violence experts said trends had shown signs of improving and started to stabilize in recent months, but the numbers remained above pre-pandemic levels.
The remainder of Adams’ first day in office focused on similar crime-fighting themes.
Earlier today, he was at a subway station in Brooklyn when he called 911 after seeing a fight break out on a nearby street. A police car eventually arrived after the situation calmed down, and officers did not intervene.