Two plainclothes New York City police officers were shot and wounded in the Bronx late Monday night while responding to a robbery at a grocery store, police said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) arrived at the hospital just after midnight Tuesday morning.
“This is another indicator of the dangers our officers face in the line of duty,” de Blasio said at an early morning news conference. “Thank God, these officers will recover.”
The two officers, whose names have not been released, were among five officers who responded to a call about a robbery at a grocery store on East 180th Street in the Bronx, Police Commissioner William Bratton said. The officers saw two possible suspects who matched the alleged robbers’ description. When the officers identified themselves, one suspect who was inside a Chinese restaurant came outside and starting shooting, Bratton said.
Both officers were wounded in the exchange. Bratton said one of the suspects may have also been hit. Shortly after the shooting, a man arrived at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in upper Manhattan with a gunshot wound to the back. Detectives are investigating a possible connection to the police shooting.
The suspects fled on foot and carjacked a white Camaro. The vehicle as well as a handgun were later recovered.
Tuesday morning, authorities released surveillance footage, which allegedly shows a suspect. At the end of the video, a man fires a handgun.
The suspects, described as 25- to 30-year-old Hispanic males, are still at large. The organization COP SHOT (Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot) is offering a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.
“This was a rough neighborhood in the 90s and it still is today,” John Cardillo, a former officer who has patrolled the area, told CNN. “Robberies were common when I worked there and there were many shootings. Armed bad guys with the propensity to shoot someone.”
NYPD spokeswoman Kim Y. Royster told the New York Times the officers were not targeted in the attack, which was the case last month when two NYPD officers were shot and killed while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn.
“This is something that they come upon,” she told the newspaper.
The shooting came a day after a number of NYPD officers turned their backs on de Blasio as he rose to speak Sunday at the funeral for slain officer Wenjian Liu.
Liu and fellow NYPD officer Rafael Ramos were shot and killed Dec. 20.
[This story has been updated.]