A police officer is being treated for gunshot wounds after getting hit while on the job Wednesday, and police have a suspect in custody in connection with the incident.
According to police, Officer James Li and his partner, 30-year-old Randy Chow, saw two men entering the back of the B46 bus at approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday.
When the officers went to remove them for evading the fare, police say one man fled west on Empire Boulevard near Utica Avenue.
At 10 feet away, the suspect allegedly fired three gunshots with a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson.
Li, 26, was shot in both legs and the groin, according to police.
Police say that both officers, who graduated the police academy in December, returned fire.
Witnesses who turned out to be off-duty EMTs saw the commotion and came to his aid, according to police.
The New York City Fire Department says that they were EMTs Shaun Alexander and Kadija Hall, both with more than two decades on the job.
Police say that New Yorkers who saw the situation unfold directed officers to a building on a nearby block.
Police then arrested 28-year-old Rashawn Robinson in a hallway on the fifth floor of the building, allegedly with a gun in hand.
"PO Chow was seconds away and says, 'That's the person who not only illegally entered the bus, but that's also the person who fired at me and my partner,'" said NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks.
Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the injured officer and the other officers who were involved.
De Blasio commended both the NYPD and the public for their good work.
"I think for anybody, the first time someone turns on you with a gun and starts firing, you can imagine what that experience would be like for any human being, any new officer, and these officers were outstanding in their response," de Blasio said.
"So a dangerous felon now off the street, another firearm off the street, all as a result of very good police work by two rookie police officers who I'm pleased to have as members of the New York City Police Department," Bratton said.
Authorities say Robinson has six prior arrests and an active warrant from Pennsylvania for the manufacture and distribution of narcotics.
He was not injured when he was taken into custody, according to police.
Police say they're not sure if the second fare evader was associated with the shooter, but they say he's not in custody.
NY1 Online: Mayor, Police Commissioner, NYPD Chief of Department Discuss Shooting of City Police Officer
TWC News: Police Officer Shot in Leg, Groin in Brooklyn; Alleged Shooter in Custody
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