Cop Injured in July 4th Shooting, NYPD Says
Officer Jamil Sarwar, who joined the force a year ago, was conducting his nightly patrol of the Cypress Hills Houses at Sutter and Fountain avenues about 10:45 p.m., when a dispatcher announced that there had been a shooting nearby. Other officers had already begun to give chase.
Sarwar and his partner rushed on foot to the scene when another gunman's bullet hit him in his right thigh, police said.
Sarwar was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he was expected to recover, cops said.
"He was shot last night while keeping the rest of us safe so we could enjoy Independence Day," Mayor Michale Bloomberg said in a statement. "Police Commissioner Kelly and I are very grateful that Jamil’s injuries are non-life threatening. He is stable and doing well."
The mayhem began when officers in an elevated surveillance platform at the housing complex saw a man firing on someone and called for assistance, police said.
"Out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy shooting — a lot of shots. There was no pause, one after another. It was pandemonium," said 39-year-old J.J. Johnson who was in a nearby bodega at the time.
''It sounded like a .9 mm glock. It was powerful. It scared the hell out of me."
Sarwar and his partner were on foot patrol nearby and raced over, but heard additional gunshots and took cover in one of the housing units, cops said.
"He was grabbing his right leg near the top," said a 13-year-old girl, who watched as Salwar limped to cover. "Then all I saw was him drop. He went down soft on the left side."
Salwar's partner was standing next to him, urgently talking into his radio, she said.
According to reports, a massive police presence descended upon the area, but cops said that both shooters evaded capture.
On Friday afternoon, vans circled the housing complex blaring loud speaker announcements looking for information that could lead to an arrest.
Sarwar is the second NYPD officer to be shot in a month, and the sixth officer to be shot this year. Officer Fausto Gomez took a bullet in his foot while transporting a prisoner into Harlem Hospital in early June.
"It's sad to go to a hospital in the crazy hours of the night knowing that's one of your officers from your precinct laying in bed and not knowing what's happening," said Juan Rodriguez, president of the 75th Precinct community council, which covers the Cypress Hills Houses.
Rodriguez remembered officer Peter Figoski, while responding to a robbery in 2011 about a mile from Thursday's shootings, was shot in the head by one of the thieves and died.
"This is my fourth incident where a police officer gets shot, and it's sad," Rodriguez said.
Twelve members of the NYPD were shot in 2012, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday.
"When a young police officer is shot while on routine patrol on the Fourth of July, there is no clearer message that we need to continue to do everything we can to keep guns off our streets," he added said.