NYPD Officer Who Shot NYC Terror Attack Suspect Hailed As Hero

MEDFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An NYPD officer is being called a hero for shooting the Lower Manhattan terror suspect and stopping him from causing more harm.

Police Officer Ryan Nash is already credited with 50 arrests in his five-year NYPD career, but none are more important than the apprehension of 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov.

After answering a call at Stuyvesant High School on Tuesday afternoon, Nash and his partner were told there’d been an auto accident nearby.

When they went outside, they found themselves face to face with Saipov.

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Nash shot and wounded the suspect, who officials said refused to drop what appeared to be a pair of guns. The weapons turned out to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun.

After stopping the mayhem and carnage, the 28-year-old officer was hospitalized for ringing in the ears.

“I don’t think we could find a more humble human being,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. “In a typical fashion of an NYPD cop, he thinks what he did is not an act of heroism, he thinks it’s something that, why he joined the police department.”

In Medford, Long Island, where Nash lives with his girlfriend in a Cape Cod-style house that’s adorned with signs of welcome, shamrocks and the American flag, neighbors are gushing with pride and praise for the officer.

“It’s a amazing, officer Nash is a hero to America, not just to this street, this block, this community, Patchogue, Medford,” Barbara Carolin said.

Nash is new to the neighborhood, and many residents didn’t know he was an officer until now.

“It’s great to find out you got a hero right across the street from you. Absolutely; what he did was amazing. Helping the people, keeping anyone else from being killed,” said neighbor Dino Cortina. “When I eventually get to see him I’d like to thank him for it.”

“He seems like a nice guy, we feel safer now knowing that there’s a hero in our neighborhood,” said neighbor Margie Cortina.

“Thank you, thank you very much that’s for him I’m telling him thank you. He did a good job,” neighbor Gene Boles said.

“It’s wonderful. I’m so happy and proud and glad that he is fine and I hope to meet him and thank him. I really want to thank him for what he’s done,” neighbor Joy Meyer-Buckley said.

“He is really courageous to have done what he has done. I hope that he is OK and not too emotionally distressed,” another neighbor said.

Nash, left the suspect alive to face interrogation, a court of justice, and victims’ loved ones.

“Dozens of more lives could have been in danger. Ryan stopped that threat immediately. We owe him a debt of gratitude,” Mayor de Blasio said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo commended Nash on Wednesday, saying it’s not just leadership from the top of the NYPD that keeps us safe, but the work of each officer.

“It’s the men and women who are out there every day, who are on the first line and I think Officer Nash really showed how important they are and how talented and how brave. So we all applaud and congratulate him,” Cuomo said.

Officer Nash has two awards for excellent police duty, one for meritorious police duty from the NYPD and will soon be decorated with more.

Eight people were killed and 12 others injured when officials said Saipov deliberately slammed a rented pick-up truck into a school bus and cyclists on a West Side Highway bike path, in what police are calling the worst terror attack in New York City since 9/11.

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