An on-duty police officer who was employed by the NYPD has been rushed to a local hospital to be treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Late Friday morning, the unnamed law enforcement officer was found deceased in the parking lot of an NYPD facility in the Bronx. The officer was sitting in his own car.
The New York Daily News reported that a 911 call was placed to Mount Vernon police warning that the officer planned to hurt himself. There is no confirmation of the identity of the caller, but The News has confirmed that the call was placed by a family member who had knowledge of the officer’s intent to end his life. Authorities arrived on the scene at around 10:50 a.m. to find the officer already suffering from his injuries.
First responders attended to the injured man who was outside the NYPD Auto Crime and Narcotics Division facility located on Abbott Street in the Wakefield section of the Bronx. The Maven reported that the man was transported to the Jacobi Medical Center for treatment.
Rumors are circulating on social media that the officer attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. Comments on the Blue Lives Matter Facebook page indicate a belief that perhaps depression or job-related stress and trauma contributed to the incident. If the officer survives, sympathizers expressed hope that he gets the help and support that he needs.
The NYPD has confirmed that the officer is indeed one of their own. What is curious is that this is the fourth suicide committed by a member of the NYPD in the last four months. Sgt. Joseph Pizzarro, Det. Nicholas Budney, and Officer Rachel Bocatija took their lives between the start of the year and the end of February.
While it is unknown whether or not the cases have any connection, Police Commissioner James O’Neill acknowledges a need for officers to engage in self-care and to ask for help when they need it.
Blue H.E.L.P. reported that this is the 46th confirmed law enforcement officer to die by suicide in the United States in 2018. The nonprofit offers support to officers as well as families who have lost loved ones in law enforcement to suicide.