'Christmas miracle' that cop shot in back in Brooklyn saved by bulletproof vest

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An NYPD officer who was shot in the back in Brooklyn while responding to a call for a woman in fear of her life is being hailed a hero.

Authorities say the incident took place on Bergen Street and Ralph Avenue in the Crown Heights section just before 9 p.m. Thursday.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said calls came in about a domestic incident involving a female victim and her boyfriend.

Officials say the mother of the woman reported that the boyfriend was going to "come and shoot the place up."

When officers arrived at the house and began interviewing the daughter, the suspect arrived and fired shots at the officers.

Officials say a 27-year-old officer was struck once in the back. Luckily, the bullet penetrated his vest, but did not penetrate his skin.

"He is in a little pain, but is in extremely good spirits and we anticipate he will be going home shortly," Shea said. "I think we will call this the Christmas miracle."

He says the officer, from the 77th precinct, has 2.5 years of service with the NYPD.

Police later identified the suspect as 20-year-old William Moss and they say he does not have a significant criminal history.

They say after firing the shot, Moss fled on foot with officers chasing after him. Shea said at least seven shots were fired by two officers.

The foot chase lasted one or two blocks before police caught up to the suspect and ordered him to drop his weapon.

The suspect dropped his gun and officers made the arrest. According to officials, the suspect was not shot during the incident.

Moss was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

"It's Christmas Eve, this is a time when you would expect peace, you would expect harmony," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "A man threatened his girlfriend, threatened her violently, said he was coming to do her harm, that's what happened tonight in Brooklyn and because the NYPD was there, that woman is alive right now."

The officer was released from the hospital on Christmas morning and was able to go home for the holiday.

Video of the scene captured what appeared to be shell casings on the street:
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The NYPD released a picture of the suspect's firearm that was recovered at the scene.


"We have to stop saying we're lucky ... we have to start asking, why is this happening?" New York City PBA President Pat Lynch said.


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