BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two New York Police Department officers are recovering after back-to-back "assassination attempts" by a shooter in the Bronx.
The first incident took place on Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. A man in a puffer jacket approached two police officers sitting in a marked patrol van in the 41st precinct, and engaged them in conversation.
Officers said the man pulled out a gun without provocation, firing multiple shots and striking the officer in the driver's seat with two bullets in the chin and neck.
The officer in the passenger's seat moved over and drove the injured officer to Lincoln hospital where he was reportedly alert on Saturday evening. The officers were able to get a description of the suspect, but no one was taken into custody.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called it an "assassination attempt" driven by "blind hatred for police." In a press conference Sunday morning, New York City police commissioner Dermot Shea said;
"The coward from this morning's shooting is in police custody. He has a lengthy violent criminal history. He was paroled in 2017 for an incident in which an individual in the Bronx was shot, a subsequent car jacking of a female, and then a crash of a car when he engaged in a gunfight with members of the New York City Police Department. That was in 2002, and he was convicted of attempted murder."
Shea said the officer from the first attack is "lucky to be alive" and is expected to make a full recovery.
Then at around 8 a.m. Sunday morning, reports came in of another shooting attack on Bronx police just a few blocks from the ambush on the patrol van. The second incident happened at the 41st precinct headquarters. The suspect reportedly walked in and fired at officers, then placed his gun on the ground and surrendered.
One lieutenant was shot in the arm and was also taken to Lincoln Hospital, and is in stable condition as of 10 a.m Sunday according to Mayor de Blasio.
Commissioner Shea has confirmed the same shooter was involved in both attacks.