A New York City police officer is in critical condition after being shot by a man whom he approached believing he might be carrying a weapon and who was charged Sunday with attempted murder.
Brian Moore, 25, was shot once in the head on Saturday afternoon and is in a Queens hospital, authorities said, adding that he and a partner were patrolling in plainclothes when they saw a man walking along and adjusting an object tucked into his belt.
When they approached the suspect, he turned around almost immediately and opened fire with a handgun on the officers, who had no chance to return fire or get out of their vehicle, New York police chief William Bratton said at a press conference.
Moore was hit in the head by one of the bullets and was quickly taken to the hospital after his companion called for help by radio.
The shooter fled but was arrested about 90 minutes later after a huge police dragnet.
The man, a 35-year-old African American identified as Demetrius Blackwell, was charged on Sunday with attempted murder, assault and illegal weapons possession.
Blackwell has a lengthy criminal record and spent time in prison, Bratton said.
The shooting is the fifth of a NYPD officer in the past five months. Last December, two officers were killed by a man who said he wanted to get revenge for several cases of police violence in which unarmed black men had died at the hands of white officers.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said this latest shooting is another reminder of the dangers that accompany police work.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Sunday the suspension of the 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. curfew she implemented six days ago in response to riots and looting following the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had ordered the deployment of about 2,000 National Guard troops in the city, but his office said that they will be gradually withdrawn this coming week.
Protests and marches against police abuse continued all last week in Baltimore but over time they have become peaceful and on Saturday thousands of demonstrators gathered before the mayor’s office downtown, one day after six police officers were charged in Gray’s “murder.” EFE