NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An NYPD officer was shot and wounded in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn late Thursday afternoon.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the NYPD said the suspect in the shooting was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a barricade with police.
The incident happened at 149 Ridgewood Ave. in Brooklyn at 4:35 p.m., as police responded to a 911 call, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said at a news conference.
O’Neill told CBS2 the 29-year-old suspect’s mother called 911, reporting that her son was emotionally disturbed. She told the 911 operator that her son was not armed and not violent, O’Neill said.
The wounded officer from the 75th Precinct Patrol Unit was with a partner when they responded to the call, sources said. Sources said the suspect was standing in the middle of the street and crying when police arrived.
The officer who was wounded came in through the front door of the apartment with EMS, while the other officer went to the back of the apartment – after the suspect’s mother said he might try to flee through the rear, O’Neill said.
When the first officer approached the rear bedroom, the suspect fired several shots and hit the officer several times, O’Neill said.
The officer was wounded once in his right arm and two shots struck his bulletproof vest, O’Neill said.
“This young man was definitely saved by his vest, made all the difference here,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the news conference.
O’Neill displayed the officer’s vest at the news conference.
“Small-caliber round,so you’re not going to be able to see where the impact was, but I did see the blunt force injury trauma on the officer’s chest,” O’Neill said.
The officer did not return fire. His partner was not struck by gunfire.
Officers rushed the suspect’s mother out of the apartment to safety and retreated to the street where they called for help, police sources told CBS2.
The officer was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. He was conscious and talking, sources said.
Sources identified the officer as Hart Nguyen. O’Neill said the officer is 30 years old and has been on the force for just over two years.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the officer was young and has served only two years so far with the force.
“What could have been just another day, just another call turned into something much worse, and thank God our officer’s going to come through it,” de Blasio said. “He’s a brave young man. He had a great attitude. He was actually, you know, trying to even make light of the situation in his own hospital bed; having a lot of spirit; a lot of energy.”
Meanwhile, the suspect barricaded himself in the building and held police in a standoff for hours, the NYPD said.
Early Thursday evening, police made entry into the building and found that the suspect was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, O’Neill said. Two weapons were recovered by his side, O’Neill said.
Police late Thursday released photos of a revolver, a semiautomatic handgun, and ammunition and magazines that the suspect possessed. It was not clear if either of the two guns were used to shoot the officer.
Hours after the standoff came to an end around 7:30 p.m., police still had the immediate scene blocked off as they investigated how it all happened.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, several blocks of the Cypress Hills neighborhood were shut down near the scene at Ridgewood Avenue and Essex Street.
Officers armed with rifles stood watch. Others armed with sniper rifles kept a close eye on the home where the suspect was inside.
Residents were forced to stand back and wait for police to give the all-clear.
One man said he was told, “Step back, somebody got a rifle, some guy got a rifle.”
One man was stunned to hear who was involved.
“They’re like, ‘You can’t go because the guy shot somebody.’ We’re like, ‘Which house?’ so when he showed me the house, I was like, ‘Seriously?!’” said neighbor Anil Poonai. “I can’t believe it, I’m shocked.”
Poonai said he often spoke to the man who shot the officer as he passed by his home on the way to work.
“Sometimes he like sit by himself and if you talk to him, he like… ‘I’m stressed out,’” Poonai said. “If you ask him what’s the problem, he never tell you.”
Resident Patricia Reinhardt said police have to do as they must to protect the public.
“God bless them. They got to protect us. They got to do what they got to do,” Reinhardt said. “They got to kill somebody who has a gun? Do it! He’s going to harm us, you know, so they have to take him down.”
The reason for the initial 911 call was also a sad revelation to neighbors.
“It’s a shame,” Reinhardt said. “It’s a shame that a mother has to call the cops because the son is acting out.”
“I don’t know what get to his head; get to his mind to do these things,” Poonai added.
While police still had the area blocked off late into the night, residents were being escorted back to their homes if they lived within the perimeter.