NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two of the three New York City police officers wounded in two separate shootings in Brooklyn and the Bronx were released from the hospital on Friday.
Dozens of uniformed cops lined the exit as Officer Michael Levay left Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn early in the afternoon. He gave a smile and a thumbs up as he was wheeled out to a waiting car.
“Glad to be going home,” he said.
Levay was one of two plainclothes transit officers who were wounded in a shooting at a subway station around 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Brooklyn.
As the 27-year-old patrolman was applauded, his parents were exhilarated yet exhausted.
“I didn’t get any sleep,” his father, Bob Levay, told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey. “I am so relieved it’s not even funny.”
Hours later, Levay’s partner, Lukasz Kozicki, was wheeled home after being shot multiple times.
Both officers were working undercover and came face to face on a Manhattan-bound “N” train with suspect Peter Jourdan, who had an extensive criminal record and was about to be given a summons for passing from car to car, police said.
When they asked the man for identification, he stood up as if to cooperate but instead pulled a 9mm Taurus handgun from his waistband and opened fire, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
“A witness said the gunman appeared to notice the officer’s bullet resistant vest and as a result, aimed low before he fired,” Kelly said.
Kozicki was shot in each of his upper thighs and once in the groin. Levay was shot in the back, but was able to return fire and killed the gunman, Kelly said.
Jourdan, 37, of Allentown, Pa., had been arrested at least seven times, including once in Los Angeles for bringing a gun to court.
“There are a lot of innocent people on the train,” said witness Jonathan Michael. ”Someone else could have got hurt.”
One bullet also grazed a passenger’s leg.
An hour before the shooting in Brooklyn, Officer Juan Pichardo was off-duty at his family’s used-car business in the Bronx when two men attempted to rob it, police said.
Pichardo was shot in the thigh before he and an employee were able to subdue one of the men and grab the gun, police said. The second suspect took off and jumped into a white Impala with Oregon license plates that had two other men waiting inside.
Police said Pichardo was able to hold the gunman until responding officers arrived. The second suspect as well as the two others in the getaway car were arrested a short time later, police said.
Pichardo had recognized the gunman as a member of a Bronx robbery crew, Kelly said. The suspect’s gun had been reported stolen from North Carolina last month, he said.
The suspects have been identified as Jeffrey Okine, 22, of Mount Vernon, Marquis Daniels, 23, of the Bronx, Tyquez Harrell, 22, of Brooklyn, and Rayshaun Jones, 25, of the Bronx. They have all been charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm, menacing and criminal possession of stolen property.
Harrell and Jones each face an additional charge of unlawful possession of marijuana.
Speaking at Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn late Thursday night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch gun control advocate, said more needs to be done to stop shootings with illegal guns.
“Three good guys – three New York City police officers, who acted heroically – are going to make it. But we owe it to the good guys to do whatever we can to protect them – just as they do whatever they can to protect us,” Bloomberg said. “Instead, Washington is letting the bad guys shoot our police officers, our children, our neighbors – and it just has to stop.”
Eleven police officers were shot while on duty and one while off duty last year. None of them were fatal.
“It shows how dangerous a police officer’s job is. Each day when they leave home, the reality is they may not come back. We’re lucky here today,” said Pat Lynch, of the New York City Police Benevolent Association.
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