New York City police officer shot in head while conducting patrol

Updated: 2015-05-03 17:51


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NEW YORK - A New York City police officer was shot in the head Saturday evening as he attempted to inquire about a suspect's actions during his patrol on the street.

The shooting came as the country is suffering a new round of tensions between African Americans and police forces.

At approximately 6:15 p.m.(2315 GMT), one of the New York city police officers was shot while operating an unmarked police car and conducting patrol with his partner in the borough of Queens, New York City Police Commissioner Williams Bratton said at a press conference.

Officer Brian Moore was seated in the driver's seat and Officer Erik Jansen was in the passenger's seat when they observed a male, black, in his 30s, walking and adjusting an object in his waistband.

Moore positioned the vehicle behind the suspect and inquired about the suspect's actions. The male immediately removed a firearm from his waistband and turned in the direction of the officers and deliberately fired several times into the vehicle, striking Moore in the head.

Both officers were still seated in the vehicle and did not have an opportunity to get out or return fire, Bratton said.

Moore was then rushed to Jamaica Hospital, while officers on the scene searched for the suspect. The suspect, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, was located and taken into custody later.

Demetrius Blackwell is 35 years old and has an extensive arrest history, which includes criminal possession of a weapon and robbery, the commissioner said.

"It is a painful day for all of us -- it is a painful day for all New Yorkers, it's a painful day for all members of the NYPD," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He said Moore comes from a police family as his father and uncle were both retired as sergeants with the department, and praised his brave service and devotion to the job.

The officer is now in stable condition and the investigation of the event is underway, according to the officials.