NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect is facing charges in connection with two carjackings and a shooting that nearly killed a postal worker in the Bronx, according to police.
Clarence Brooks, 27, is charged with attempted murder and robbery.
He was wheeled out of the 47th police precinct early Wednesday morning on a stretcher for a psychiatric evaluation, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported. He remains hospitalized in police custody until he sees a judge.
The incident happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday near the corner of Carpenter Avenue and East 232nd Street.
Police say Brooks fired a shot while trying to carjack a postal carrier’s coworker in a black sedan. The mail carrier was grazed by a bullet when police said he tried to chase down the suspect.
“The perpetrator exited the vehicle and fired what we know to be one round at the postal worker who was in the occupied vehicle,” said Inspector Ruel Stephenson, the 47th precinct commander.
Brooks, who police said was wearing a bullet proof vest, then took off. In exclusive surveillance video, the suspect is seen stopping, breaking the car window and walking out with a backpack in hand.
Police said he then continued on with his carjacking spree, hopping into a silver SUV and attacking the woman behind he wheel.
“She sees the suspect approaching, she starts to get unnerved and feels something is wrong,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Wilcox. “He gets in the car with her, points the gun in to her body, her rib area, and demands that she drive the car. She refuses. She asks to let her out, she exits the car and then he drives.”
But police said Brooks didn’t make it far, crashing into a car, shooting out the driver’s window and making a run for it. He was caught several blocks away and taken into custody.
The gun allegedly used in the carjackings was recovered at the scene.
Troy Grant and his cousins watched part of the double car jacking in action near 223rd Street.
“I heard a crash and when I looked, he just got out of the car and ran,” he told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“Seriously. I think he was on some drugs because no one in their right mind would do something like that,” Pagan said.
Police tell CBS2 that Brooks has been arrested for assault, two counts of gang assault, twice for criminal possession of a weapon and robbery before Tuesday’s incident.
Neighbors said hearing about his arrest record leaves them feeling vulnerable.
“Judges say, ‘Hey, let him out, he hasn’t done enough yet,'” said resident Carlos Lugo. “We need to tighten up.”
“We’re not safe, wherever we are,” said another resident. “We’re not safe.”
The postal worker who was grazed in the shoulder by a bullet was released from the hospital.
The postal service issued a statement thanking the NYPD and saying “the well-being and safety of postal employees is of paramount importance to Postal Inspectors. We are pleased this individual has been apprehended and thankful our employee is on the mend.”