YONKERS, New York - One of two men charged in connection with the shooting of a Yonkers police officer faced a judge Wednesday afternoon.
Family members sobbed as 22-year-old Jerry Reyes was arraigned in a courtroom packed with nearly 100 Yonkers police officers. He is charged with weapons possession in the shootout that left 26-year-old officer Kayla Maher with a gunshot wound to the jaw.
Reyes was sporting a bruised forehead, but he was not hurt. The second suspect, 18-year-old suspected gunman Frank Valencia, is still in the hospital and will be facing much more serious charges.
"Numerous shots were fired," Yonkers police Commissioner Charles Gardner said. "We anticipate a charge of attempted murder in the first degree."
Officer Maher was released from the hospital Tuesday, less than 24 hours after being shot in the face.
Raw video: Yonkers officer released from hospital
She was in good spirits then and is in good spirits now, after her commanding officer paid her visit.
"We would refer to her as a fireplug," Captain Patrick McCormack said. "She's ready to go. She wants to come back to work."
There was a round of applause in Maher's name at a promotion ceremony held for Yonkers police officers Wednesday, and future ceremonies will likely recognize acts of bravery on display. Until then, there is outrage the suspect was out on the street in the first place. He was reportedly arrested earlier this year, when he was 17, on weapons charges, and was released with a guilty plea and youthful offender status.
"This wasn't a minor crime," Yonkers PBA president Keith Olson said. "He was caught with a loaded defaced handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the Bronx. That's not what youthful offender status is designed for."
The shooting happened around 8 p.m., as police responded to calls of a suspicious vehicle that had been sitting for over an hour at Marshall Road and Ridge Drive with two men inside. When Maher and her partner walked up to the car, one of the men inside began shooting. The officers returned fire, hitting Valencia.