BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) --A wild police chase through Bedford-Stuyvesant ended with two NYPD officers getting injured in a shootout near Malcolm X Boulevard and Lexington Ave.
The chain of events started when police said the suspect, 34-year-old Jamal Funes, fired a shot at an MTA worker in uniform just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Apparently both were stopped at a traffic light when Funes saw the MTA worker, who was still wearing his bus driver uniform.
Funes then brandished his gun, and fired once as he drove away. The MTA worker was not injured, and the housing officers responded after hearing the gunshot. Police said Funes pointed the gun at the housing officers as they approached, and then took off in a car. The officers followed Funes -- until he he a patrol car head-on on Lexington Avenue. That's when shots were fired.
Two officers were struck by gunfire, and Funes was hit by at least eight bullets.
The officers, William Reddin and Andrew Yurkiw are plainclothes, anti-crime officers assigned to the 81st Precinct.
Yurkiw was shot in the protective vest, but the bullet did not penetrate it. He suffered blunt force trauma. Reddin was shot below the vest in the right hip. Neither injury is life-threatening.
The bullet that struck Yurkiw's vest ricocheted off a vehicle. Reddin was hit by bullet fragments from a bullet that impacted somewhere else.
Both Reddin and Yurkiw were alert at the hospital, Bratton said.
Yurkiw, 29, has been an officer for three years. Reddin has nine years on the force. Reddin, 36, is a married father of two, and expecting a third.
Mallory Hoff has more on the officers:
More than 30 shots were fired by six NYPD officers who responded. Investigators are now trying to determine if they were struck by friendly fire, and they're looking into whether the suspect fired at the MTA worker because he saw the uniform and thought he was a police officer.
This is the gun police recovered from the suspect's car:
A .357 caliber revolver was recovered from the front seat of the car, which contained 5 spent shell casings. pic.twitter.com/yfFcRuEojj— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) February 20, 2016
Funes has 15 prior arrests in New York City and another 11 in Chicago before leaving in 2000. He was arrested in 2007 for assaulting an NYPD officer. He attempted to take the officer's weapon and served a three-year prison sentence. He also was arrested in 2006 for striking a child with a belt and in 2002 for punching a girl in the face. Funes is Muslim, and he has had contact with people currently being monitored by the joint terrorism task force. However, officials do not believe at this time that the suspect has any terror leanings.
In October 2011, Reddin was involved in an incident in Brooklyn where his partner, Sgt. Michael Miller, jammed his finger next to the hammer of a suspect's gun, stopping it from firing. The partner sustained an injured ring finger.
"These officers pursued their work last night with vigor, with focus," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday morning. "These are very dedicated officers who were out there protecting us and thank God they had some of the things they need to keep them safe."
Yurkiw's father, Detective Paul Yurkiw, was shot three times in the vest in Queens in June 1989. The gunman, Sean Boyd, is in prison in Stormville and up for parole in March. The vests became mandatory in 1988 and have easily saved more than 100 officers since then.
Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly joined Eyewitness News in the studio to talk about the shooting: