CYPRESS HILLS — An NYPD officer was shot in the arm and twice in his bulletproof vest after responding to a call of an emotionally disturbed man who later killed himself inside a Ridgewood Avenue home Thursday afternoon, officials said.
"What could have been just another day, just another call, turned into something much worse," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference at the hospital. "This officer was definitely saved by his vest."
The officer, who sources identified as Hart Nguyen, 30, was in stable condition at Jamaica Hospital, officials said Friday morning.
Nguyen and his partner responded to 149 Ridgewood Ave. near Essex Street at about 4:35 p.m., after a woman called 911 to say her son was acting erratically, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said.
Nguyen approached a rear bedroom where the mother said her son, who sources identified as Andy Sookdeo, 29, was unarmed and possibly getting ready to flee the home. In fact, Sookdeo — who had a revolver and a Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol — then fired several shots, hitting the officer once in his right arm and twice in his vest, O'Neill added.
Emergency Service Unit officers finally entered the home after 7 p.m. and found Sookdeo inside a bedroom from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
The suspect who shot the officer was armed with two handguns and many rounds of ammunition, police said. (NYPD)
The mayor said Nguyen had been with the NYPD for two years. O'Neill said Nguyen was a "brave young man" and was alert and able to speak with the commissioner and mayor.
Neighbor Jordan Victoriano, 21, said he witnessed part of the events as was headed to the bodega. He said he saw a woman wailing in the street and he heard gunshots ring out, and saw two officers run down the front steps back toward the street, one bleeding from his arm.
"There was a lot of blood," he said in Spanish.
Videos that Victoriano shot with his phone showed the wounded officer rushing out of the house and the second officer heading back up the steps and standing in the stairwell shouting "open the door," as sirens blare in the background.
Emergency workers then flooded the scene and Victoriano was ushered inside a neighbor's house. About about 20 minutes later he heard two more shots come from inside the house.
Officers in tactical gear at the scene told residents to stay indoors while they blocked off Ridgewood Avenue after the shooting.
The block was shuttered from Shepard Avenue to Essex Street while NYPD officers behind armored vehicles were seen stationed on and around the street.