NYPD officer shot in leg in Crown Heights

An on-duty rookie police officer is in stable condition at Kings County Hospital after being shot twice in the leg, allegedly by a man who has since been arrested, said police.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the injured officer, James Li, at his bedside on Wednesday night, February 26.

Li, 26, who reportedly lives on 70th Street in Bay Ridge with his family, just graduated from the NYPD Police Academy in January. He is the first NYPD officer to be shot this year.

It was about 5 p.m. near the intersection of Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard when Li and Officer Randy Chow–both of the 71st Precinct, located just blocks away–saw two men enter a B46 bus through a rear door in an attempt to avoid paying the fare. The officers entered the bus and escorted the suspects off to the sidewalk, where they attempted to flee and “a short chase ensued,” according to NYPD Chief Philip Banks.

One man is then said to have shot at the officers from a distance of about 10 feet, hitting Li twice in the leg. Both Li and Chow returned fire–Li shot five times, Chow two times–but did not hit the suspect, who fled westward on Empire Boulevard towards Lefferts Avenue.

Chow gave chase and called for assistance for Li, who was lying in the parking lot of a White Castle being tended to by Good Samaritans–two of whom were off-duty Emergency Medical Technicians–who administered first aid until emergency medical services could arrive.

The suspect was chased west on Empire Boulevard towards Lefferts Avenue and then onto the fifth floor of 445 – 455 Schenectady Avenue, where he was arrested.

The gun that suspect Rashawn Robinson, 28, was found to be carrying when he was arrested following a short chase. (Photo courtesy of NYPD.)

A gun matching the ballistics of the shots fired at the scene was found on the suspect’s person during arrest. The weapon is a Smith and Weston 44-caliber gun.

The suspect, Rashawn Robinson, 28, has six prior arrests and an active warrant from Pennsylvania for the manufacture and distribution of narcotics. His last arrest in New York City was in Brooklyn’s East New York on narcotics-related charges.

The two off-duty EMTs, Khadijah Hall and Shaun Alexander, were praised for their quick-thinking and life-saving actions by de Blasio and Bratton. They were honored in a ceremony on Thursday, February 27.

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