THE BRONX — A police officer shot while trying to break up a large fight outside of a party in the South Bronx early Monday was hit by friendly fire, Police Commissioner Bratton confirmed.
It was early Saturday when Stuart and a partner, both in plainclothes, arrived at a home in the 2500 block of Third Avenue in the South Bronx after numerous 911 calls were made reporting a large fight in the street involving guns, bats and knives, police said.
When the officers arrived, they “encountered a male,” later identified as 19-year-old Bronx man Christopher Rice, and ran after him, NYPD said. As backup units pulled up, gunfire broke out. Stuart was struck in the foot then returned fire, hitting Rice four times, NYPD said. Police confirmed that the bullet that hit Stuart came from another officer’s gun.
Investigators found a .380 semi-automatic firearm and three other guns at the scene, police said, including a pistol allegedly belonging to the suspect. Five people were taken to hospitals with stab wounds they suffered during the brawl, police said.
Stuart was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Rice was taken to a hospital and listed in serious condition, police said.
Police said about three hours before he allegedly shot at the officer, Rice had been released from police custody on suspicion of fare beating. Officials added that he has been arrested at least five times.
Rice faces charges of assault on a police officer, menacing, and criminal possession, according to NYPD.
Stuart, 25, joined the NYPD exactly four years ago Monday.