City of New York, NY

02/04/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/05/2023 11:39

Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams Briefs Media on Shooting of Off-Duty NYPD Officer

February 4, 2023

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell: Thank you for being here. We are at a hospital once again awaiting news. This time, for an off-duty NYPD officer who was shot and is in critical condition. The officer is a five-year veteran of the NYPD assigned to patrol. This appears to be an attempted robbery during an attempt to purchase a vehicle. Please keep this young officer in your prayers. He is currently fighting for his life. I would like to thank Dr. Ruben Toribio, the emergency medical staff here at One Brooklyn Brookdale Hospital for treating our officer. I'll now turn it over to Mayor Eric Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you, commissioner, and I also want to thank the district attorney who's here with us, and I want to thank the men and women of the New York City Police Department for doing what they do every day. And it's no different today. An officer conducting a simple errand and a dangerous person pulled out a firearm. As we see so far and so often in the city, too many illegal guns are in the hands of bad people and doing bad things.

I spoke with the officer's wife, saw his beautiful children, and we all are lifting his family up in prayer. We will catch the person responsible for this act. Far too often, I stood at hospitals with Patrick Lynch on one side, the police commissioner on another, leaving the rooms with family members on mournings, hearing that same sound, "Tell me it's not true. Please tell me it's not true."

It hurts a lot and it doesn't dissipate over time. It does not dissipate. My heart goes out to the family. My heart goes out to the members, the department in general, but specifically to the members of his command to see a brother officer experience this.

If anyone, anyone, has any information, please inform the NYPD tip hotline. This dangerous person must be removed off our streets.

Going to turn it over now to Assistant Chief Baldassano from the Detectives Bureau.

Michael Baldassano, Assistant Chief, Detectives Bureau, Police Department: Good evening. The information we're about to provide is preliminary and subject to change as the incident happened only a few hours ago. Earlier this evening, at approximately 7:00 off-duty NYPD police officer attempted to purchase an automobile in the vicinity of 472 Ruby Street. The arrangements for this purchase were made over a social media platform and the location was selected. The officer arrived at the location accompanied by a relative. Almost immediately, the suspect displayed a gun and announced a robbery. There was an exchange of gunfire where the off-duty officer was struck. The suspect fled the location and the officer was moved to Brookdale Hospital. Anyone with information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. I will now pass it on to PBA President Pat Lynch. Thank you.

Patrick Lynch, President, Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York: For some time now, we've been listening to our legislators talk about crime as if it's a fantasy, it's not real, talking about it as if it's just numbers on a page. When in reality, it's human lives. They're living a fantasy world. We've asked for help before, we're asking and demanding help now. You're living in a fantasy world. You want to see reality, look at the devastation that those rounds caused to that young man's body, listen to the cries of a wife, a father, a mother, their children. That's reality. It's causing devastation. This has to end. We can't keep going to hospital emergency rooms and asking for prayers. Yes, we need prayers, but we need more. We need our legislators to sit down now, understand that they were wrong. It's not a fantasy. It's devastation. It's real. It's humans. It's cops. It's families.

Police Commissioner Sewell: We'll take some questions now.

Question: (Inaudible.)

Assistant Chief Baldassano: That is still under investigation. Right now, we know there was an exchange of gunfire and that's all we have right now.

Question: (Inaudible.)

Assistant Chief Baldassano: At this point, we have no reason to believe that, but it's still under investigation.

Question: Can you tell us the name of the officer?

Assistant Chief Baldassano: No, we're not releasing that at this point.

Question: The FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force are on the scene. Can you say what support they're providing to the investigation?

Assistant Chief Baldassano: With any major incident in the city, we always rely on the help of our federal and state partners, so they're just giving everything they can.

Question: (Inaudible.)

Assistant Chief Baldassano: At this point, the investigation is still early on, so we will investigate every lead that we have.