Queens, NY – An off-duty New York City Department of Corrections officer is being called “a hero” after he shot a man who pointed a gun into a crowd in Queens on Sunday.
The incident occurred at about 8 p.m. on July 3 during a 4th of July celebration near 214 Place and Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village, WNYW reported.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that was when the off-duty corrections officer, who was there celebrating Independence Day, saw the 23-year-old suspect draw a gun and point it at a crowd of people, CBS News reported.
Police said the off-duty corrections officer didn’t hesitate and pulled his own weapon and shot the suspect threatening the crowd, WNYW reported.
The suspect returned fire and shot the corrections officer.
The suspect was shot in the torso and the corrections officer was shot in the leg, News 12 Bronx reported.
Both men were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening wounds, WNYW reported.
A third gunshot victim was taken to the hospital from the scene, but police have not yet confirmed whether the man was shot during the same incident.
The mayor called the off-duty corrections officer a hero, WNYW reported.
“He showed heroic actions tonight, and because of that I believe he saved the lives of other innocent people in this community,” Adams told reporters at a press conference late on Sunday night.
NYPD said the gunman was known to police and had two prior convictions related to firearms, News 12 Bronx reported.
“I visited the officer in the hospital, he’s a hero,” the mayor said. “Taking proper action while off-duty is one of the most difficult things to do, and we are happy that he’s not experiencing any life-threatening injuries.”
Then Adams addressed the fact that the suspect was free when the incident occurred, News 12 Bronx reported.
“It is unimaginable that someone awaiting sentencing for a gun that he admitted having is now out six months waiting to serve his time for a gun that he had in a robbery,” he told reporters.
NYPD said they do not yet have a motive for the shooting and the incident is under investigation, News 12 Bronx reported.
Police have not yet released the identity of the gunman or the hero corrections officer.