Monday, October 18, 2010
NYPD Officer Richard Ramirez shot twice in Brooklyn gun battle with teen
An NYPD cop was shot twice in the leg Sunday night while pursuing a teenager who whirled and fired after running into a dead-end stairwell in Brooklyn, cops said.
Police Officer Richard Ramirez, 29, may also have been struck in his bullet-resistant vest after he cornered Elijah Foster-Bay, 17, inside an East New York building about 8 p.m., cops said.
"Thank God it wasn't anything more serious," Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Sunday night at Kings County Hospital, where the wounded officer was in stable condition.
Ramirez and two other plainclothes cops from the 75th Precinct were patrolling in an unmarked car when they spotted Foster-Bay riding a bike on a sidewalk.
They got out to question him. "When he saw the officers, he immediately threw down the bike and ran," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Foster-Bay, who lives in Port Washington, L.I., but is from East New York and has an uncle there, ran into a building on Bradford St.
The cops chased after him, suspecting he had a weapon, police officials said. Foster-Bay ran up the stairs but was trapped when he could not open a door leading to the roof.
"He turned and fired on one of the officers," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.
Ramirez and one other cop returned fire, squeezing off a total of 11 rounds, police said. Foster-Bay's revolver held seven bullets. Only one was left inside after the shooting, cops said.
Ramirez, who has five years on the force, suffered damage to his femoral artery and vein and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. "His wounds certainly could have been fatal," Kelly said.
Foster-Bay suffered two gunshot wounds in one leg, but one of the wounds may have been an exit wound. He was in custody and was taken to Brookdale University Hospital for treatment.
Foster-Bay's uncle Willie Stafford said he doesn't know why his nephew went out earlier in the night. Stafford had been out and said that he became worried when he came home, the bike was gone and Foster-Bay was not answering his cell phone.
"This is my worst nightmare. I don't know why he comes around here," Stafford said. "There's nothing but unemployment. No education, nothing good in this neighborhood."
The 75th Precinct, which encompasses East New York, is one of the busiest commands in the NYPD, and for much of the year has hovered near the top in the major crime categories.
For the first nine months of the year, cops in the 75th Precinct investigated 23 homicides - the most in the city at that point.