A rookie NYPD officer was shot in the legs in Brooklyn Wednesday (February 26) evening while attempting to arrest a man who was trying to duck paying bus fare. The officer is currently listed in stable condition, and the suspect was arrested just blocks from where the shooting took place.
The New York Times reported on the shooting of officer James Li, 26, who was working with his partner officer Randy Chow in pulling Rashuan Robinson, 28, and another man off a MTA bus for trying to avoid paying the fare. The officers saw Robinson and the man sneak into a back door entry of the bus, sparking a chase. During the chase, Robinson fired on the cops and struck Li in both thighs and the groin. The Times has more:
Officers arrested a suspect, Rashaun Robinson, 28, in a building near the shooting, which occurred in the area of Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard, Chief Philip Banks III said at a news conference at the hospital. Mr. Robinson had a loaded .45-caliber handgun on him, the police said.
“This was just a great piece of police work,” Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said at the news conference with Chief Banks and Mayor Bill de Blasio. He added that the suspect “showed no compunction whatsoever” in “firing three times at the officers.”
The officers returned fire, but Robinson was not hit. Li was fortunate that two off-duty emergency medical technicians were near the shooting scene and were able to help the young officer while his partner called for backup. With the help of residents, Robinson was found nearby and arrested on the spot.
Robinson has been arrested six times before and NYPD discovered that he was wanted on a warrant in Pennsylvania for drug charges; the other suspect the officers chased got away. NYPD brass praised the officers and their response to the matter, with Mayor Bill de Blasio echoing the same sentiment.
“They did everything a good cop does, and they've only been on the job for a few months,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Yet, they responded like seasoned veterans.”