YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Yonkers police officers and a brave good Samaritan were honored Wednesday after they recently subdued a gunman who was firing shots in a crowded area during daytime hours.
“Zacarias, I want to say thank you and declare a day in your honor in the city of Yonkers,” Mayor Mike Spano said.
Zacarias Green ran towards danger when everyone was running away.
On Sept. 25, police made what they thought was a routine traffic stop, when the driver, an ex-con, jumped out of the car and ran through Getty Square while armed with a gun, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.
“You will find literally thousands of people concentrated in a small section of our city,” Spano said.
According to police, the gunman fired five shots in the crowded area.
Green was there doing work for the census.
“When I saw him with the gun in his hands, I was trying to catch his hand, but I just hit him,” Green said.
Along with police officers, Green was able to help take down suspect.
Officers did not fire one shot and no one was seriously injured. They were also honored Wednesday.
“Great work, restraint, reasonableness. All these different things bundled together and this is the result of all of that and I couldn’t be prouder of the officers,” Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller said.
The outcome could’ve easily been different. Police credited their training. Green credited his faith.
“All the grace should be to God,” Green said.
In 2007, the Department of Justice investigated Yonkers police. The aggressive tactics used by officers were among their concerns. It took years and resulted in 100 reforms.
Officials said the late-September incident shows those changes are working.
Green used to be an auxiliary officer in the city for almost 15 years. That’s why he said he wanted to help.
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