NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Nassau County police officer who was shot while responding to a report of a burglary was recovering in the hospital Wednesday after undergoing surgery.
Police said Officer Mohit Arora was responding to a report of a burglary when he was shot and injured early in the morning.
It happened at a house on Campbell Street in New Hyde Park around 2 a.m. after a resident called 911 to report that multiple people were trying to break in, police said.
As Nassau County police responded, Arora, 32, was shot in the right hip as he approached the house, police said.
“The police officer thought that the subject was going to surrender,” said Detective Lt. John Azzata. “The subject didn’t surrender, but quickly fired upon the police officer.”
A foot race ensued and as Arora got closer, police said the suspects unexpectedly pulled out guns, CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“Officers responded, the subject pointed his weapon at the other officers and the officers returned fire. We are still calculating the number of shots,” Azzata said.
A six-year veteran of the department, Arora was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his hip, police said. His condition was upgraded to stable from critical later Wednesday morning.
County Executive Ed Mangano visited Arora at the hospital.
“I personally met with Officer Arora and his family at the hospital earlier today and thanked him for his heroic service and offered the support and prayers of Nassau County,” he said.
Shaken police colleagues were at his bedside when Arora was wheeled out of surgery and into recovery.
“I got to speak with him for a couple of minutes and his concern was whether the subjects were apprehended, which they were,” Nassau County PBA President James Carver said.
The officer’s family is grateful that Arora is alive, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
“Thank you to everybody for praying for him,” Arora’s uncle, Andy Sharma, said. “Thank God he’s OK.”
“We’re a very big family, everybody’s praying for him,” Sharma added.
Police had closed off half of the area as they searched for the suspects. Authorities said two suspects were later taken into custody and were being questioned in connection with the shooting. Azzata said a gun had also been recovered.
Police said the house was targeted.
“This was not a random act of violence,” Azzata said.
Neighbors said the homeowners do own a business and that recently another business owner on the block was followed home and robbed in broad daylight.
Some who live nearby said the incident left them on edge.
“Nobody slept here last night that’s for sure,” one neighbor told McLogan.
“They were probably followed in, scary,” one man said.
“Too many cops getting shot,” said another neighbor.
Officer Arora is the sixth Nassau police officer to be injured or killed in the line of duty in the past three and half years.
“We’ve suffered enough of our own tragedies here in the Nassau County Police Department,” Azzata said.
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