Two New York Police officers were shot while responding to a call about a robbery in the Bronx, leading to a manhunt for the suspects as the city’s officers remain on edge after a pair were gunned down last month.
Both officers in the shooting Monday night near East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue were rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital. One suffered a wound to the elbow, while another was hit in the back, said Lieutenant John Grimpel, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department. Their injuries weren’t life threatening, he said.
The shooting comes after two police officers were gunned down last month by a man who claimed on social media to be retaliating for police killings of unarmed black men. Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, and Officer Rafael Ramos, 40, Both were slain Dec. 20 as they sat in their squad car in Brooklyn.
The officers’ deaths have led to fraught relations between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police labor union, which says the mayor created an environment that led to the shootings by supporting demonstrators’ right to protest police violence. The protests included those following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision last month not to indict an officer after an unarmed, black man suspected of selling loose cigarettes died after being put in a chokehold.
The officers in the Bronx shooting were responding to a call about an armed robbery at a Chinese restaurant. After a brief car chase, two suspects opened fire on the officers and then fled on foot, the New York Post reported.
Seeking to ease tensions with officers, De Blasio spoke Monday at a news briefing at Police Plaza where he was joined by Police Commissioner William Bratton.
It came a day after hundreds of officers turned their backs to a video monitor on which the mayor eulogized Liu, just as they did at the funeral last week of his partner, Ramos. The man who shot them, identified by police as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, shot himself dead shortly afterward.