Updated 08/10/2012 10:42 PM
Wounded NYPD Officer Leaves Hospital; Reward Raised For Shooter
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A city police officer shot in the line of duty earlier this week was released from the hospital Friday as investigators continue their search for the gunman.
NYPD Sergeant Craig Bier, 44, was greeted by fellow officers as he left Jamaica Hospital.
Bier, a 15-year veteran of the department, underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his right thigh after being shot Wednesday on 107th Avenue in Jamaica.
Authorities say the shooter, identified as John Thomas, 24, has 17 prior arrests and goes by the street name Gutter.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association says the reward for his capture has been increased to $35,000.
"Oh we're going to get him within a day or so. We always do. That's the irony of this whole thing, you know? You're hiding, but we're going to get you. The question is how. So, who's hiding you? Take the money," said Ed Mullins of the Sergeant Benevolent's Association.
The Daily News is reporting Thomas may have also been involved in an unsolved shooting earlier this summer.
After initially saying Bier and his partner approached a man on a bike who later fired at the officers, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly now says it was another man who pulled the trigger.
Police say Bier fired off six shots to Thomas' four.
"When they went to stop an individual on a bicycle this other individual started to run. So they ran after him and that's when the shooting took place," Kelly said.
Bier is the 10th officer to be shot this year.
Police say a 9 millimeter gun was recovered near the scene.
A person of interest being questioned in the hours after the shooting was later released.
Meantime, as police search for John Thomas, authorities are hoping someone will come forward with information about the shooting of another officer last month.
Officer Brian Groves was hit once in the bulletproof vest on July 5 inside the Seward Park Housing complex on the Lower East Side.
Groves and his partner were conducting vertical patrols when he was confronted by the gunman inside a stairwell.
The shooter managed to get away and police haven't been able to find him.
He was described as 5'9" tall with a thin build, in his 20s, with corn rows.
Anyone with information on either case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.