October 23, 2019
Remarks as prepared for Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill
Police officers from the 32nd Precinct responded to a call of a dispute between neighbors. This is the type of call NYPD cops respond to thousands of times a year. But today, we were reminded - again - that no call is ever routine. Early this morning we saw a vivid example of the dangers our police officers face each and every day fighting crime and keeping people safe.
I'm joined here by Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Supervising Chief Surgeon Dr. Eli Kleiman, PBA President Pat Lynch, First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker, Chief of Department Terry Monahan, Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, and Manhattan North Borough Commander, Assistant Chief Kathleen O'Reilly.
First, I want to thank the skilled staff here at St. Luke's Medical Center for the high-level of professional care they always provide.
The information I'm about to share with you is preliminary, and subject to change as the investigation unfolds.
At approximately 1:51 am, eight uniformed police officers from the 32 Precinct responded to a 911 call by a resident of 2785 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard stating a male neighbor is harassing her, banging on doors and breaking glass.
The officers went to the second floor of the building to investigate the complaint and to locate the man.
As the officers fanned out to search the second-floor hallway, one officer suddenly encountered the suspect, standing naked, pointing a 9mm semi-automatic handgun at the officer. A violent struggle immediately began, and shots were fired.
The officer yelled for help as the struggle continued, and the other officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect several times. Our officer had been shot one time in the chest. The round did not penetrate his bullet-resistant vest. Our officer had also been punched numerous times, resulting in injuries to his face.
The officer is here at St. Luke's in stable condition. The mayor and I just met with his wife. The injured officer is 34 years old. He joined the NYPD in July 2012, and is assigned to Patrol in the 32 Precinct.
The 29-year-old suspect, who has had previous interactions with the police, was pronounced deceased at Harlem Hospital. The suspect's firearm was recovered at the scene.