First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, NYPD: Okay, so, good evening, everyone. I will give you a preliminary background on the events this evening. At around 8:00 pm this evening, two of our police officers were shot and wounded inside a stairwell at 320 East 156th Street within the Melrose Housing Development in the South Bronx. Three officers were conducting a vertical patrol in the sixth floor stairwell area when they encountered two individuals, one of whom produced a firearm and shot at our officers. The suspect then fled into an apartment on the seventh floor. Responding officers gained access to the apartment where they discovered several individuals as well as the suspect who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A semiautomatic firearm and a shotgun were recovered inside the apartment. Several individuals have been taken to the 4-0 Precinct for investigation. The second individual who the officers encountered in the stairwell is also in custody. There are two injured officers – have been transported to this hospital – Lincoln Hospital. Their identities are being withheld pending notification of their family members. The officers are both assigned to Housing Bureau PSA 7. They both have two years on the force. The name of the deceased suspect is being withheld pending family notification. At this time, I’ll turn it over to the mayor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you very much, Commissioner. Our brave officers were doing their jobs tonight in our public housing, on patrol, keeping the residents safe, when they confronted an armed assailant. You’ll hear more momentarily but thank God so far, in both cases, their condition is good. We have more that has to play out this evening. And they’re getting very fine care here at Lincoln Hospital and I want to thank everyone at Lincoln Hospital.
I’m pleased to say both officers have been alert and communicating. So, we are praying for the best here, and of course, our hearts and our prayers are with their families. We met with the family of one of the officers. The other family is on the way. We’ll let them know the officers are getting very good care and a lot of attention to help them through this trying moment. It’s another example of what our officers confront every single day, keeping us safe not only on the streets of New York City, but in the stairwells and the hallways of our public housing developments.
I want to thank all the leaders of the NYPD who are here. I want to thank Pat Lynch of the PBA. And I want to thank all of the elected officials who are here in solidarity with these officers and their families, including: Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Public Advocate Tish James, Bronx DA Darcel Clark, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assembly Member Michael Blake. I also want to thank the President of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs this hospital – Ram Raju – and the Chair of the Housing Authority, Shola Olatoye.
These officers – again, getting fine care here. Both – very early in their work on the force. Both – two years on the job, but doing their job, going out there, keeping people safe, and running into some bad guys, but, thank God that first responders came to their aid. The hospital is standing by them, taking care of them. And, again, our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with them and their family.
Thank you, Commissioner.
First Deputy Commissioner Tucker: Okay. Pat, would you like to say a few words?
[PBA President Patrick Lynch delivers remarks]
Unknown: Alright folks, as you know, we can take just a quick, few preliminary questions.
Question: Chief, what is the basis for holding the other folks?
First Deputy Commissioner Tucker: I didn’t catch your question.
Question: If the shooter is dead, what is the basis for holding the other folks? What have they allegedly done?
Robert Boyce, Chief of Detectives, NYPD: They have allegedly done nothing. Right now we’re interviewing them. As we go forward, one male was with this individual, the shooter, in the hallway and in the stairwell. So we’re speaking to him and we have three others in the apartment, we’re getting statements from them. They’re not being held for anything than purely giving information.
Question: Was the stairwell dark?
Chief Boyce: No. The stairwell I was in afterwards was not dark.
Question: Chief, does the suspect live there? [inaudible]
Chief Boyce: Unknown at this time.
Question: And so, the apartment that he went to – was it his family members, or we don’t know?
Chief Boyce: He knew someone in the apartment, they let him in.
Question: Chief is it clear what happened [inaudible] that they asked them for their ID?
Chief Boyce: We have not talked to the officers involved. We’re speaking to one of the persons who was with the shooter – the perpetrator. We did recover a 32-caliber gun inside the apartment while rendering aid to the perpetrator. We also recovered a shotgun in that apartment as well. We’re getting a search warrant to do the rest of the apartment as we stand now.
Question: [inaudible] or looking for anything specific?
Chief Boyce: Pardon me?
Question: Was it routine patrol or were they looking for anything specific?
Chief Boyce: Routine patrol, we do this every day in the City of New York.
Question: Can you tell us more about the officers? If they’ve said anything tonight, how they’re feeling right now?
Unknown: No, no. It’s much too early for that. Their families haven’t been notified yet.
Question: What is the genders of the officers?
Unknown: One is a female, one is a male, they both have two years on the job. And we’ll get more details [inaudible], but at this point that’s more than we can say right now. Thank you.
Question: One more question, what are your thoughts on the inherent danger of these vertical patrols?
Unknown: Pat Lynch has spoken about that already.
Question: Were they wearing a vest?
Unknown: I will check, but I imagine they were.
Question: Can you say where they were hit?
Unknown: One has a face wound, and one has an abdomen wound.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)