Police said a total of six officers in two unmarked police vehicles were patrolling the area near Lorillard Place and East 187th Street in the Belmont section. According to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig, the area is known to police as a problematic block with drugs, gang activity and disorderly groups.
Around 9:30 p.m., the officers parked nearby and walked to a residence on Lorillard Place to address a disorderly group of at least seven individuals. All of the officers were in uniform.
Police said as the officers approached, a 16-year-old boy stepped toward a car parked on the street and put his hands in his pockets.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the 16-year-old failed to comply with officers' orders to remove his hands from his pockets, and after several attempts, he began to physically struggle with the officers.
"At this point, there was a single round fired from the suspect's firearm that struck the suspect in his left groin area and then exited the suspect and struck the officer in the right leg," Sewell said.
Both the officer and the 16-year-old were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The four-year veteran of the force was released overnight. Both he and the suspect are expected to be OK.
Sewell said at no time did any officer fire their weapon.
A bullet and a gun were recovered from the scene. Police said the gun was stolen in South Carolina in October 2020.
According to police, the 16-year-old suspect is a member of a subset of the Crips gang. He was arrested in May 2020 for possession of a firearm and charged as a juvenile. He was placed on probation in December.
"This individual just was placed on probation for possession of a gun in December. January, he's back in possession of a gun. Something is wrong with that. We are making tactical errors on preventing law enforcement communities from being able to rid our communities of guns. That's unacceptable," Mayor Eric Adams said.
The mayor added, "He was arrested at 14 years old for being in possession of a gun. At 16, he's arrested again, and this time, he discharged a gun. What is it going to take? What is it going to take before we finally realize that we are endangering the lives of children by allowing children to carry guns that they are using on children? I am just frustrated with this. We are putting our communities in harm's way, we are putting our police officers in harm's way, and we don't seem to get it."
Police have not identified the suspect or said what charges he may be facing.
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