BROOKLYN — A plainclothes detective was shot by a fellow officer Tuesday evening when he and his partner confronted a car full of drug dealers during a buy-and-bust operation in front of a Bushwick bar, NYPD officials said.
The narcotics detective, Jon Gladstone, was hit in the left shoulder at Troutman Street and Wilson Avenue after he dove through a car window to arrest one of the suspects as the car sped away, police said during a press conference at Elmhurst Hospital.
The dealers had just sold a type of heroin dubbed "American Dream" inside the vehicle when the detective, an 11-year NYPD veteran, approached the passenger side of the car and a plainclothes sergeant walked up to the driver's side and announced that they were police, officials said.
The suspects — Oscar Vera, 46, and Geraldo Rodriguez, 51 — threw the car into reverse and smashed into a police vehicle, before speeding forward a short distance with the detective hanging halfway out of the passenger's side, before crashing into another car, officials said.
The officers fired four shots as the suspects tried to drive off, striking Vera as well as Det. Gladstone, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker said.
Vera was shot three times in the leg and hand, police said. He and a second suspect were arrested Tuesday evening.
A third man, who was believed to have been outside the car at the time of the drug deal, fled from the scene and is still on the loose, police said. He was wearing a green hat and hoodie, police said.
Vega has 58 prior arrests and Rodriguez has 17 previous collars.
The detective was taken to Elmhurst Hospital around 6:15 p.m., fire officials said. He was in stable condition.
"His mood was fine, for someone who's been shot. He was awake. He was alert," Tucker said.
Gladstone, who is a married father of two, and the sergeant were classmates at the police academy 11 years ago, sources said.
The sergeant, who has held his rank for three years, has one child, a boy, sources said.
A worker at FHF Deli at the intersection where the shooting happened said, "We heard gunshots and ran to the back."
"It's pretty crazy," said Braden Campbell, 26, who moved to the block in January. "I was under the impression that this neighborhood was better than it used to be."
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the shooting was a reminder of the "dangerous work" police do to protect the city.
"Today, a detective put his life on the line as he bravely performed his duty to protect our city and its residents from harm," de Blasio said in a statement. "The team of police officers involved in tonight’s incident represents the best of the NYPD ... We’re grateful the detective is doing well, and we wish him a safe and swift recovery.”
— Reporting by Julia Bottles, Murray Weiss, Ben Fractenberg, Katie Honan and Ellen Moynihan