By TOM MCELROY
NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers responding to a robbery in the Bronx were shot and wounded Monday night, and a manhunt was still underway hours later for a pair of suspects, authorities said.
The shooting happened just after 10:30 p.m. on East 184th Street in the borough’s Tremont section. It was a jarring reminder of the double shooting that claimed the lives of two NYPD officers about two weeks ago in Brooklyn and came the same day the mayor and police commissioner touted the city’s record low crime levels.
The officers were near the end of their shift when they and three others responded to a report of a robbery at a small market. A 30-year-old officer was shot in his left arm and lower back and a 38-year-old was hit in his left arm and chest. They were not identified.
The officers were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, where both are in critical but stable condition, authorities said.
“They went above and beyond the call to protect their fellow New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference early Tuesday. “Thank God the officers are doing well and will recover.”
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the five plainclothes officers, part of an anti-crime unit, were in a car when they spotted two possible suspects in the robbery — one outside a Chinese restaurant and another inside it.
He said when the officers got out, the suspect in the restaurant opened fire, forcing the officers to shoot back. The two suspects fled and police believe they carjacked a vehicle occupied by two women. The car was found abandoned and a revolver was found nearby. No further details about the women were made public.
Bratton said a man later walked into New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in upper Manhattan with a gunshot wound to his back. Police are trying to determine if he is connected to the case.
The commissioner said police are reviewing video that they hope will help them identify the suspects.
The organization COP SHOT, Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot, has offered a $10,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down in their patrol car Dec. 20 by a man who vowed online to kill “pigs.” The man opened fire, then ran into a subway where he shot himself to death. Ramos was buried Dec. 27; Liu was buried Sunday. Tens of thousands of officers from around the country attended the funerals. Many turned their backs as de Blasio spoke because some say he is anti-police.
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