NEW YORK Two New York City police officers were injured on Saturday during an exchange of gunfire with a male suspect who rammed a patrol car during a chase and was then shot and critically wounded, authorities said.
Jamal Funes, 34, was in critical condition after being shot several times inside the vehicle he was driving, the police department said. Both officers were hospitalized but alert and in stable condition. Their names were not immediately released.
The injured officers were the third and fourth New York policemen shot and wounded while on duty during the past month. The latest shooting follows a string of encounters that left four other NYPD officers dead since December 2014.
The incident started early on Saturday morning when two housing police officers heard a shot fired near a Brooklyn intersection. As the officers approached, the suspect, who authorities believe to be from New Jersey, pointed a revolver at them and drove off, police said.
The officers called for help and began to follow the vehicle, while officers from three commands came to their assistance. Funes, driving down the street in the wrong direction, rammed a responding patrol car, and gunfire was exchanged, police said.
One of two responding officers, dressed in plainclothes, suffered blunt-force trauma after a bullet hit the front of his protective vest without penetrating. The second officer, also in plainclothes, was struck in the right hip, below his vest, police said.
The first officer is the son of a retired policeman whose life may also have been saved by a protective vest when a bullet struck it several years ago, Police Commissioner William Bratton said during a news conference.
(Reporting by Frank McGurty in New York, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; editing by Andrew Roche)