A summer afternoon in Brooklyn was disrupted by gunfire when a man shot and injured an officer, sparking an hours-long standoff that ended when the man turned the gun on himself, police say.
Authorities swarmed a block in Cypress Hills after the NYPD officer was shot multiple times by the man, who then barricaded himself in a two-story home, according to police.
The officer — later identified as 30-year-old Hart Nguyen — was shot shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the home on Ridgewood Avenue, near Essex Street, while responding to a call about a 29-year-old emotionally disturbed man, according to police.
Officers arrived at the home, where they talked with the mother of the suspected gunman, police said. The mother had called 911 and told police her son was unarmed. She warned them that he may try to run from them, so a second officer went around the back of the home as Nguyen headed to a rear bedroom, where the man was barricaded.
When Nguyen went to the bedroom to talk with the man, he fired through the door multiple times, hitting Nguyen, police said. Nguyen did not return fire, according to police.
Two bullets hit Nguyen's bulletproof vest and another bullet hit his arm after bouncing off his watch.
Nguyen then retreated from the home and called for backup. Cell phone video shows him walking away from the home with another officer; blood can be seen running down his arm.
He was treated by EMS at the scene and taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
Mayor de Blasio and other officials visited with him at the hospital.
At a press conference later in the evening, the mayor said Nguyen is from the 75th Precinct, has more than two years of experience on the job and was in good spirits during the visit.
"He had a great attitude, he was actually even trying to make light of the situation in his own hospital bed. Showing a lot of spirit, a lot of energy," de Blasio said.
Officials said Nguyen's bulletproof vest kept him from suffering injuries that could have killed him.
Holding up the vest, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said, "I did see the blunt-force trauma injuries on the officer's chest, so this vest definitely saved his life."
The suspected shooter was holed up in the home for several hours as police converged on the area. Heavily-armored officers and vehicles, as well as numerous ambulances and NYPD cars were at the scene during the standoff. Some officers were seen perched on nearby rooftops.
Dozens of residents watched the scene unfold from cars, sidewalks and their homes.
"It was crazy," said Ignacio Rodriguez. "Even when I stuck my head out the window, an officer was like, 'Stick your head back inside!'"
Police negotiators tried to talk with the suspect, who hasn't been identified, and get him into police custody.
But when police made entry into the home they found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, O'Neill said, adding that a revolver, semi-automatic handgun and ammo were found at his side.