A uniformed NYPD officer was shot in the chin and neck Saturday evening in what Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described as an "assassination attempt."
According to the preliminary investigation, at around 8:28 p.m., a man approached a marked NYPD van that had its emergency lights activated in front of 906 Simpson St. Two officers were inside the vehicle at the time.
The NYPD says the suspect approached the officer's patrol van last night and asked for directions. He then pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots before fleeing.
"Without provocation, the man pulls out a gun, the operator of the van yells gun, and immediately attempts to put the car into drive and pull away from the scene," said Shea.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed the seriousness of the attack, saying "This was an attempt to assassinate police officers."
The officer driving the van, who was not named, was struck in the chin and neck during the incident. Shea says the officer did not fire any shots. The officer was transported to Lincoln Hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery and should leave the hospital later today.
Investigators say the other officer took over the wheel after his partner was injured. News 12 is told the two officers have been working together for eight years and have known each other since middle school.
"It's a miracle that we are not here under worse circumstances," he says. "By the grace of God, we are talking about an officer that will be going home."
Shea says the investigation into the shooting is active and that they are searching for a male suspect who was wearing a black jacket and between the ages of 20 to 30 years old.
Anyone with information to the whereabouts of the male suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. A 12,500 reward has been issued for his arrest.
The commissioner says the officers were stationed in the Hunts Point neighborhood due to recent drug and violence in the area.
There have been other recent unprovoked attacks on officers sitting in their patrol cars.
In 2017, a gunman killed Officer Miosotis Familia in the Bronx as she sat in her mobile command vehicle. Three years earlier, officer Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn.