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NYPD Officer Shot While Patrolling Melrose Houses Released From Hospital

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An NYPD officer who was shot in the line of duty last week at the Melrose Houses in the Bronx was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Police officer Diara Cruz was greeted by applause from fellow NYPD officers as she was wheeled out of the hospital.

ICYMI: Here's the touching reception Officer Diara Cruz got as she was released from the hospital after being shot in the line of duty last week at the Melrose Houses in the Bronx. Read more here: http://cbsloc.al/1RqR0zZ

Posted by CBS New York on Thursday, February 11, 2016

The 24-year-old was shot in the torso on Feb. 4 as she and two other police officers were on a routine patrol at the Melrose House complex.

Authorities said the officers asked a group of men they encountered for identification and one of the men, 23-year-old Malik Chavis, told them he needed to get his ID. Chavis was walking with police to an apartment on the seventh floor when he turned, pulled a gun and opened fire, hitting Cruz and 29-year-old officer Patrick Espeut. The third officer was not hurt.

Police Officer Diara Cruz
Police Officer Diara Cruz was shot in the abdomen inside a Bronx housing project on Feb. 4, 2016 (Credit: NYPD Handout)

Sources said Chavis stormed into a nearby apartment and said "I just shot a police lady. I ain't going back to jail," CBS2's Janelle Burrell previously reported.

According to sources, Chavis asked a woman inside the apartment to shoot him but when she refused, police said he went to a back room and fired once, killing himself.

Officer Espeut was also hospitalized with a graze wound to his face. He was released from Lincoln Hospital last Friday.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said the shooting was evidence of the dangers of patrolling public housing and should serve as a reminder that police officers need public support.

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