The incident occurred near the corner of East 187th Street and Beaumont Avenue in the Belmont section just after 8 p.m, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said during a news conference Wednesday from St. Barnabas Hospital.
Shea noted that it was almost a year ago to the day when two police officers were shot in the 105th precinct.
“We are very lucky tonight. If you think back, it was last New Year’s Eve exactly one year ago, when we had two officers shot in the 105th Precinct, and they were released the following day. It looks like we’re on that path again here tonight,” said Shea.
Detailing Wednesday’s shooting, Shea explained that officers were contacted by a member of the community who gave a “pretty detailed description of an individual” who had a firearm and they responded to the scene. When they approached the individual, a male, he said a few words before opening fire “within seconds”. The uniformed officers then returned fire.
“They’re walking up there, discussing tactically how they will approach, and they immediately encounter this individual who’s sitting on the front stoop of the building,” Shea said of the officers. “Within seconds, they are in a gun battle.”
A female police officer, who has been working with the force for approximately one year and is also a military veteran was immediately struck in the right arm by the gunman, Shea said. She was then shot a second time by the gunman. She has been identified as Alejandra Jacobs, 23, as per The New York Post.
“She returns fire, we believe, five times, striking the assailant,” Shea said, noting that the entire incident was captured on body camera footage.
“Her partner, when they immediately approach the individual, before the shots are fired, gives verbal instructions to take his hands out of his pocket, and immediately the gun comes out and the shots start. He’s (the male officer) struggling with the individual, wrestling the individual to the ground,” Shea said. The incident lasted roughly two to three seconds.
The male officer, Robert Holmes, an eight-year veteran of the force, was struck in his right armpit area and was taken to hospital.
The gunman, who Shea said had a record of previous arrests, was struck three times and was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital for emergency surgery. He is now out of surgery and officials believe he is going to survive. Officials have not identified him.
A firearm was recovered at the scene and was reported stolen in Georgia last year, according to Shea.
“Extraordinary courage tonight. We looked at the video, we saw officers doing their job, protecting the people of this city with incredible bravery,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. “And then, in the visit to their hospital room, two people of just extraordinary spirit. Officers who are in this work because they want to protect people, they want to save lives.
“This is another example of a gun from out of state, comes into our city, and hurts a New Yorker. This is something we’ve got to deal with in a whole different way,” the mayor added.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, NYPD said both officers are doing well and are expected to make a full recovery. Jacobs has been released from the hospital and is now at home with her family while Holmes remains in hospital.
“There’s a lot to be thankful for this #Thanksgiving. Last night, a gunman fired on officers in the Bronx. Two were struck. Today, one hospitalized officer is going home just in time to be w/family for the holiday—but not before receiving a hero’s walk-out from her blue family,” NYPD said alongside a video of the female officer leaving the hospital.