Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said the officer had left work and was on his way home when the 26-year-old suspect tapped on his window with a gun at Foster Avenue and East 87th Street in Canarsie around 2 a.m.
The officer pulled ahead to a safe distance and exited his vehicle, and that's when Harrison said the man fired one gunshot at him.
"Our member of the service then pulled out his firearm, shooting several times at our perpetrator, striking him in the chest," Harrison said.
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He said two guns, one that appeared to be wrapped in latex gloves, and a knife were found on the suspect, who was taken to Brookdale University Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The officer was not injured but was taken to Beth Israel Hospital to be treated for tinnitus.
Harrison said at this point, authorities do not believe the officer had been followed, nor do they think he was aware his intended victim was an off-duty officer.
The investigation is active and ongoing, and several blocks are shut down in the area where the shooting took place.
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Police say the suspect in the case has seven prior arrests, and despite not having a license, he was charged in 2017 with causing a Belt Parkway hit and run that claimed the life of a 59-year-old woman.
He was allegedly driving a stolen Mercedes SUV eastbound on the Belt at a high rate of speed with no headlights on when he rear-ended a Mitsubishi Outlander carrying four people and then hit a Honda Civic with a woman and three young children inside.
The driver of the Civic, Johanna Taylor, remained hospitalized until her death on April 22, 2018.
Police say the suspect then flipped the stolen SUV on its side and fled from the crashed car but was not caught until April 16, 2019, when he was charged with vehicular manslaughter.
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