BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — The manhunt continued Monday for the gunman who shot an off-duty police officer in the head in Brooklyn on Saturday.
The officer, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, was trying to buy a car when he was shot on the 400 block of Ruby Street, Michael Baldassano, assistant chief with the Detectives Bureau said.
“The arrangements for this purchase were made over a social media platform and the location was selected. The officer arrived at the location accompanied by a relative,” Baldassano said. “Almost immediately, the suspect displayed a gun and announced a robbery. There was an exchange of gunfire where the off-duty officer was struck.”
The officer’s family and fellow police officers held a vigil at Brookdale Hospital on Sunday. Faith-based leaders prayed for the gravely wounded 26-year-old officer.
“We are asking for prayers to help this officer,” one of the vigil organizers said. “Every New Yorker, you need to help this officer. He puts his life on the line for you every day.”
As many prayed for the officer, others continued their search for the suspect. No arrests have been made. Mayor Eric Adams pleaded for anyone who knows something to come forward.
“The officer was conducting a simple errand, and a dangerous person pulled out a firearm,” Adams said at a news conference. “As we see too often in this city, there are too many illegal guns in the hands of bad people and doing bad things.”
At Sunday’s vigil, Waheed Ahktar expressed faith an arrest would be made.
“With the help of clergy and law enforcement, there is no doubt that we will bring the culprit to justice,” Waheed Ahktar said.
The suspect was described by police as a bearded man. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. Police said he fled in a black vehicle with tinted windows.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, 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).