An NYPD officer was saved by his bulletproof vest after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call in Weeksville, Brooklyn on Thursday and police Commissioner Dermont Shea called it a Christmas miracle.
Speaking at Kings County Hospital on Thursday night, Shea thanked God, he was not speaking to the press under dire circumstances.
"I would say someone is looking out for us. At approximately 8:54 PM this evening, a dozen of 911 calls were made. I listened to the calls myself personally and what you heard was a mother calling 911 repeatedly saying get here now, he is gonna come over and shoot the place up. What she was referring to was her daughter's boyfriend," said Shea.
"The urgency of the voice could not be understated. Our officers in the 77 precinct arrived at 1798 Bargain street and meet up with the complainants from that apartment's third floor.
"It is a private house. As they are interviewing the daughter in a scenario eerily similar to the one in a couple of weeks ago in Queens the perpetrator arrives.
"Looking at the bodycam you see incredible bravery by the officers, you see the woman point him out and the next thing you hear shots being fired. Our officer was struck once in the back where the bullet penetrates the vest and does not penetrate the skin. I tell you, we cannot be more thankful again to the doctor and his team in taking care of our officer in terms of the service that they got. He is in a little pain but extremely in good spirit. We anticipate that he will be going home."
Shea said the suspect, a 20 year old man after he fired the shot was immediately engaged by another team of officers that was on the scene.
"At this point in time, we believe at least seven shots were fired by our officers. A foot pursuit ensues which lasts approximately one to two blocks. Eventually, one of the officers catches up to the perpetrator at gunpoint and warns him at least 10 times to drop the gun and eventually the perpetrator puts the gun down on the sidewalk and lays down and was taken into custody without any further violence," said Shea.
"We do not see any criminal history at this time. We have at least one prior domestic incident between the girlfriend and the perpetrator in this case. Whether it happened at that same location we are not sure, that was about a month ago. The suspect was not shot. To my knowledge he has no injury."
CNN reported on Friday that the suspect William Moss was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
Shea said the officer whose name he did not reveal is 27 years old with about two and half years of service in the NYPD.
Mayor Bill De Blasio said a woman's life was saved because of the NYPD officers.
"Thank you Kings County for what you have done tonight. Christmas time is a time you would expect peace. What happened tonight, a man threatened his girlfriend violently and said he was coming to do her harm. Our officer put himself in harms' way and that innocent woman is alive tonight. We thank God he is going to be alright," said mayor De Blasio.
"Here is a time when we expect people to treat each other with the greatest kindness. During the COVID crisis we have seen horrible instances of domestic violence. We know that during holidays, the worst of the horrible instincts come out in people so I want to remind anyone who feels in danger that you can call the domestic violence hotline. Help is there for you."
President of the Police Benevolent Association of New York City Pat Lynch said the briefing was reminiscent of another Christmas Eve.
"We have to start asking questions. Why is this happening? Why does a perp feel bold enough to shoot at a police officer? That's the question we have to ask and answer. There are a number of reasons this is happening. Lack of support on the street, defunding the police, bail reform, lack of prosecution that is why this is happening," said Lynch.
"We have to stop saying we are lucky. We have to stop counting on our equipment. There has to be fear in the hearts of perps that they know if they shoot at a police officer, they won't walk the streets. Let's see what will happen when we get to New Year's eve, I hope we are not here again."