EAST HARLEM, Manhattan – A sleeping NYPD officer was struck by a bullet while in his vehicle parked at a Manhattan police precinct on New Year’s Day, city officials said.
It happened in the parking lot of the 25th precinct along East 119th Street in East Harlem, police said.
The officer had just finished an eight-hour shift around 2:30 a.m. and was scheduled to work a 7 a.m. shift later that morning, according to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
He decided to rest in his personal vehicle, which was parked in the lot of the precinct, and woke up several hours later to find his vehicle window shattered and pain to the left side of his head, the police commissioner said.
When the officer sought assistance, another officer observed he had an injury to his head and rendered aid, authorities said.
The seven-year veteran was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery that determined he had a fractured skull, according to Sewell.
The medical staff said the gunshot wound was “miraculously deflected,” either from the window or the officer’s skull.
Bullet fragments were removed, and the officer is expected to recover.
“This could have turned out differently,” Mayor Eric Adams said, vowing to make sure authorities find the person who discharged the weapon and remove those who are found carrying guns.
President of the Police Benevolent Association, Pat Lynch, said the incident gives them the opportunity to have discussions on what can be done to help police and the people of the communities.
Authorities said there were no other 911 calls for gunfire, and the other members who were at the precinct did not hear gunshots.
There is currently no suspect or motive for the incident, and it was not immediately known if he was the intended target.
In a tweet, NYPD Chief James Essig announced a $10,000 to anyone who provided information leading to an arrest.
The incident comes as thousands of NYPD officers have called out sick due to COVID. The NYPD sent out a memo telling all uniformed officers who are regularly off on Friday and Saturday that they must report to their respective commands for assignment.