SOUNDVIEW, the Bronx — A police officer was shot in the back Tuesday night in what is the third NYPD-involved shooting in less than a week, authorities confirmed.
The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. in the area of Lafayette Avenue and White Plains Road, in the Soundview section.
Officers from the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Division were driving in the area, encountered a suspect and initiated a stop, Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a late night press briefing.
According to Shea, it is believed the suspect fired four rounds and the officer fired one round. During the exchange of gunfire the officer was struck one time in the lower back, just missing his bulletproof vest, he said.
The 31-year-old officer was rushed to a hospital. Authorities later said the officer was conscious and alert at the hospital and was expected to survive.
“He is in a lot of pain, but thankfully we expect him to make a full recovery,” Shea told reporters.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was also at the briefing and called the officer “extraordinarily brave.”
“Here is a young officer, out there on the streets of the Bronx, getting guns off the streets to save lives,” de Blasio said. “He’s someone that goes out and puts his life on the line to protect other people in the most powerful way.”
While the officer’s identity was not released, Shea said he has been with the NYPD for over six years. The mayor said many of the officer’s relatives are also members of the NYPD.
Police took a 24-year-old Bronx man into custody in connection to the shooting, according to the commissioner. He added that the suspect had been arrested several times in the past in New York City and has a “criminal record” in New Jersey.
Officers also recovered a firearm that the NYPD said the suspect had in his possession when he engaged with police.
The suspect’s identity was not released and no charges had been announced as of early Wednesday morning.
Watch the NYPD’s press conference on the shooting:
The MTA said a BX36 bus that was in service near the scene of the shooting was requested by police to remain on the scene as it is equipped with cameras.
The transit agency said there were no passengers on the bus at the time, but that the bus driver reported hearing shots fired.
The NYPD asked people to avoid the area of Lafayette Avenue and White Plains Road because of the ongoing investigation.
Tuesday night’s shooting was the third NYPD-involved shooting in the past five days. Officers shot and killed a man who was armed with a knife and chasing a woman in the Wakefield section of the Bronx Thursday. On Sunday night, a police pursuit of a stolen car ended with officers shooting a man in the chest in Jamaica, Queens.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.