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Off-duty NYPD officer shot while sleeping in car between shifts, authorities say


(NEW YORK) — An off-duty New York Police Department officer is in stable condition after he was struck in the head by a bullet while sleeping in his car between shifts, authorities said.

The officer was resting in his personal car, which was parked in the lot of a Manhattan police precinct, after finishing a late-night shift at a New Year’s Eve event in Central Park, according to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

While reclined in the driver’s seat, a bullet came through the rear passenger window, striking him in the temple, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.

The officer awoke at 6:15 a.m. in pain to find his rear window shattered, according to Sewell. An on-duty officer rendered aid and the injured officer was transported to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery and had bullet fragments removed from his wound, the commissioner said.

The officer, who officials said is a seven-year veteran of the force and father of two, was not identified. He has a fractured skull but is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.

“We are grateful that our officer is recovering, as we know this could have been a very tragic outcome,” Sewell told reporters outside New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where the office is recuperating. “I also truly believe this incident underscores that there are far too many guns out there in the wrong hands and too many people willing to fire those weapons, and that is something we intend to tackle head-on.”

Detectives don’t have a motive at this time, and it is unclear if the officer was the intended target, authorities said.

“It appears that the bullet was fired from a significant distance away,” Sewell said. “It’s hard to tell who the intended target was, if any.”

There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who fired the gun, Essig said.

Newly-inaugurated New York City Mayor Eric Adams visited the officer in his hospital room on Saturday.

“I knew that this could have turned out differently,” Adams, a former New York City police captain, told reporters. “I know that a bullet, when it strikes an individual, it does not stop its path. It continues to rip apart the anatomy of a family and a community.”

We are happy but angry today.

Happy to report that our officer injured last night is recovering and in good spirits.

Angry that someone brought in the New Year with violence.

We’ll find the gun AND the shooter. We’ll bring anyone who thinks they can attack our city to justice.

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 1, 2022

He vowed to “aggressively” address gun violence in the city.

“That bullet could have struck any person or individual that was walking through the streets,” he said. “And I am clear on my mission to aggressively go after those who are carrying violent weapons in our city.”

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

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