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Nassau County Police officer strikes armed woman with vehicle

Woman waving gun in Bellmore struck by Nassau County Police vehicle
Woman waving gun in Bellmore struck by Nassau County Police vehicle 02:10

BELLMORE, N.Y. -- A woman was taken into custody and hospitalized Tuesday after firing a loaded gun in broad daylight in Nassau County.

Around 4 p.m., a woman was spotted blatantly pointing a gun, firing at least one shot, even pointing the weapon at her head.

"She was waving the gun around at innocent people, putting them in fear for their lives," Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

Cars sat at the intersection near Jerusalem and Belmar avenues in Bellmore. Someone inside one of the vehicles captured it all on his cell phone. In a split-second decision, an officer used his vehicle to disarm the woman.

"Other option on the table is to take up the gun and shoot her. They didn't do that. They chose an alternative option that they thought quickly to react and probably save people's lives, including their own," Ryder said.

Former NYPD detective Felipe Rodriguez says the officer's life was in danger while using this unorthodox approach.

"The windshields in vehicles are not bulletproof, and as he ended up coming closer to her, you actually became a bigger target. So he was very lucky she didn't decide to aim at the vehicle and discharge the firearm," he said.

During the incident, a nearby school was put on lockdown. Once the all-clear was given, students were allowed to leave.

"The school acted appropriately, did an excellent job, control the kids there," Ryder said.

Nassau Police say a semi-automatic handgun was recovered. The woman was taken into custody and is being treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. The officer is also being treated for emotional trauma at a separate hospital.

"He did a great job. He's our hero of the day," Ryder said.

The police commissioner says they're working to recover every piece of surveillance footage related to this incident.

We reached out to Nassau County Police to find out if the officer will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation. So far, we haven't heard back.

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