Two New York policemen shot after armed robbery

Updated: 2015-01-07 00:11


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Two New York policemen shot after armed robbery

Caretakers escort school children past a police cordon at the site of a shooting in the Bronx borough of New York January 6, 2015. [Photo / Agencies]

Two New York City plainclothes policemen were shot and wounded while responding to an armed robbery on Monday night, officials said.

Unlike the attack two weeks ago in which two uniformed policemen were shot dead as they sat in their patrol car, police said there were no signs the two officers shot on Monday had been specifically targeted.

Both wounded officers were expected to recover, and police were looking for at least two suspects, officials said.

The officers, whose names were not been released, were shot outside a Chinese restaurant in the New York City borough of the Bronx as they approached two suspects, William Bratton, the police commissioner, said at a news conference at the hospital, where the officers were being treated on Tuesday.

The plainclothes officers fired back, possibly wounding one suspect. The two men then fled before stealing a white sports car that was later abandoned. Police recovered a black revolver near the scene, Bratton said.

One officer, age 30, was shot in the arm and lower back. The second policeman, 38, was wounded in the chest and arm. Both were in stable condition, police said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio described the two wounded officers as "extraordinarily brave" during the news conference.

Two New York policemen shot after armed robbery

A suspect wanted for an armed robbery and shooting New York Police Department officers is shown in this NYPD image tweeted by NYPD on January 6, 2015. [Photo / Agencies]

His relationship with the police has deteriorated after he expressed sympathy for the nationwide protests during the summer over the killings of blacks by white policemen. It hit a nadir two weeks ago, when the two New York policemen were shot and killed.

In the latest incident, the two officers were about to end their shift when they heard calls on their police radios of a robbery at a grocery store near the Chinese restaurant, de Blasio said.

A few hours before the shooting, Bratton and de Blasio had announced a continued decline in serious crime in the city in 2014, which the mayor called a record-breaking year.

De Blasio praised the police, pointing to the generally encouraging crime data, even as he criticized those uniformed officers who have turned their backs on him during the funerals for the two slain officers and at other events.

Police union leaders have reacted angrily to the mayor's comments that he has often warned his biracial, teenaged son that he needed to be especially careful around police.

Both the mayor and Bratton said they could not rule out the possibility that a sharp drop in arrests and court summonses in the two weeks since the deadly attack on the two policemen were signs of a deliberate work slowdown by police.