Three New York City police officers were shot in two different incidents in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The incidents happened with an hour of each other, according to Kelly.
Juan Pichardo, who was off-duty at the time, was shot in the leg Thursday evening when he stopped a robbery at his family’s used-car dealership in the Bronx. According to the New York Daily News, 34-year-old Pichardo never blinked during the armed robbery.
“That guy could have killed one of us,” manager Jason Marengo said. “The guy said, ‘This is not a joke, this is a stick up.’ He had a gun to my face.”
The gunman and his apprentice pretended be buyers before pulling a gun and demanding cash. They tied plastic zip ties around Pichardo’s wrists, but the nine-year veteran escaped from the ties and jumped one of the robbers. He was subsequently shot in the right thigh, but managed to push the gunman to the floor while Marengo chased his accomplice.
In Brooklyn, transit police officers Michael Levay and Lukasz Kozicki were shot an hour later during a shootout on the N train. Kozicki was shot three times in the legs and Levay was hit in the back of his bulletproof vest. The gunman was fatally wounded.
All three officers are expected to survive.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the officers, but also used their shootings as an opportunity to take a jab at Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA.
“Somebody said, we all know who … the only way you stop bad guys with guns is good guys with guns,” Bloomberg said. “Sometimes the good guys get shot, and sometimes they are killed. Tonight, thank God, three New York City police officers, who acted heroically, are going to make it.”
LaPierre ruffled some feathers last month when he said that schools should provide armed security to protect children from tragedies such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. He suggested a “school shield program,” but neglected to recognize how much such a program would cost and who would pay for it.
We here at The Inquisitr wish officers Levay, Kozicki, and Pichardo a speedy recovery.