(NEW YORK) — A police officer was shot at point blank range while he sat in his car in what authorities are calling an “attempted assassination.”
The incident happened just before 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night in the Longwood neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City when sources say the suspect walked right up to the marked police vehicle where the officer was sitting and allegedly began asking for directions before opening fire at the officer, according to ABC News’ New York station WABC-TV.
The officer in the driver’s seat apparently yelled once he saw the gun and put the police car into drive but was struck by a bullet in the neck and chin during the commotion. Officers were not able to return fire during the incident.
The officer’s partner then immediately drove the injured man to Lincoln Hospital, where he is being treated and is expected to survive.
“Multiple shots were fired by the perpetrator at close proximity into the van,” said New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea during a press conference. “At least one, possibly two, shots struck the operator of the van. One struck him in the chin. One struck him in the neck narrowly missing the carotid region and it is a miracle that we are not here under worse circumstances.”
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio echoed the commissioner’s sentiments during the same press conference.
“Our officer and his partner, under the most adverse possible situation, did everything right and thank God both of them are safe,” said De Blasio. “But I want New Yorkers to be clear, this was an attempt to assassinate police officers.”
The suspect has been described as a 20-30-year-old man dressed in black with a black hat, and approximately 5’7″ in height.
The New York City officer has not yet been publicly identified but authorities have confirmed that he is an eight-year veteran assigned to the 41 Precinct and that he has known his partner since they were in middle school.
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