Brooklyn, NY – Two New York police officers were shot during the riots late Wednesday night as they were rushing to help another officer who had been stabbed in the neck.
The incident began at approximately 11:45 p.m., as two officers were patrolling the area of Flatbush Avenue and Church Avenue to help deter looters, WNBC reported.
As they were performing their duties, a 20-year-old suspect armed with a knife suddenly walked up and attacked them, slashing one of the officers in the neck.
Shots were fired during the struggled that ensued, drawing the attention of a nearby sergeant, WNBC reported.
The suspect was holding one of the officers’ duty weapons when the sergeant arrived at the scene.
The sergeant opened fire, hitting the suspect eight times, New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters.
It is unclear whether or not the suspect fired the weapon he’d stolen from the officer he stabbed in the neck.
Two other officers both suffered a gunshot wound to their hands, WNBC reported.
A total of 22 rounds were fired during the incident, which was also captured by the officers’ bodycams.
The suspect’s knife was also recovered at the scene.
All three officers remain hospitalized in stable condition, but are expected to recover, WNBC reported.
The wounded suspect is in critical condition.
Commissioner Shea said that the assassination attempt was “cowardly, despicable and unprovoked,” WPIX reported.
“We had a chaotic scene,” he told reporters. “Thank God we’re not planning a funeral right now.”
Investigators are working to determine a motive for the vicious attack, and it is unclear whether or not the incident was connected with the rioting that has been plaguing the city for days, WCBS reported.
It was the second officer-involved shooting to take place in Brooklyn in just over 24 hours.
Just after 9:26 p.m. on Tuesday, ShotSpotter sensors detected gunfire at the Kingsborough Houses in Crown Heights, The New York Times reported.
Officers responded to the area and learned that a man in his 40s had been shot in the area of Bergen Street and Rochester Avenue.
The wounded victim had crawled away from the place where he’d been shot and police were not initially able to find him.
Meanwhile, officers searched for the gunman, who had fled the scene and was hiding behind a tree further up Bergen Street, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief Terence Monahan told reporters at a press conference just two hours later.
The 34-year-old alleged gunman pointed his weapon at police, at which point they immediately began yelling at him to drop his weapon, The New York Times reported.
Bystanders also screamed at the suspect to comply and to drop the gun, cell phone footage showed.
“They’re gonna wind up killing him,” one bystander commented. “He got it in his hands.”
“Drop the f–king gun!” the crowd yelled.
The standoff lasted for approximately one minute.
According to Chief Monahan, officers’ bodycams recorded them pleading with the suspect.
“He’s moving his head. He’s getting up. He’s gonna go, he’s gonna go! Drop the gun! Drop the gun! Please drop the gun! Please drop the gun,” the chief recounted.
The scene erupted in a volley of gunfire as 10 officers opened fire on the armed suspect.
“The male refused the orders of the officers, the officers discharged their weapon at the individual and struck him,” Chief Monahan said, according to The New York Times.
The gunman collapsed to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene.
His firearm was recovered from the scene, Chief Monahan said.
None of the officers were injured during the encounter.
The wounded victim the suspect shot prior to the officers’ arrival was transported to a hospital and has been listed in stable condition, The New York Times reported.