A New York Police Department cop fresh out of the police academy was shot in Brooklyn on Wednesday. The officer, 26-year-old James Li, is the first NYPD officer shot on duty since July 2013.
Officer Li was shot while trying to detain Rashaun Robinson and another suspect. The two men were caught boarding city buses without paying fares.
Robinson took off running as Officer Li and Officer Randy Chow confronted him. After taking off, Robinson turned around and fired multiple shots at the officers from a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun. He was only about 10 feet away when the shots were fired. Officer Li was hit in both legs.
“(There were) a lot of shots — 15, maybe 20,” said witness Jimmy Zitis. “The cop went down. He was…faceup and bleeding. He was in a lot of pain. He wasn’t talking too much.”
Two off duty EMT’s rushed to Li’s aid as other officers chased Robinson. The shooter was eventually found hiding in a 5th floor hallway of a nearby apartment. He we was taken into custody.
Officer Li was transported to Kings County Hospital following the shooting. He is in stable condition.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke to the media in a press conference yesterday.
“This was just a great piece of police work on the part of the initiating officers, as well as the pursuing officers and the apprehension of this suspect with a loaded firearm who showed no compunction whatsoever about turning and firing three times at the officers,” Commissioner Bratton said. “So a dangerous felon now off the street, another firearm off the street, all as a result of very good police work by two rookie police officers who I’m pleased to have as members of the New York City Police Department.”
Mayor de Blasio echoed Bratton’s sentiments.
“Commissioner Bratton and I had the honor of visiting some heroes today in their hospital rooms,” de Blasio said. “I have to tell you that Officer Li and Officer Chow really did everything we could conceivably have asked of them. They did everything a good cop does, and they’ve only been on the job for a few months. And yet they responded like seasoned veterans, and it’s something we as New Yorkers can be very proud of.”