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2 NYPD cops wounded in shootout with migrant teen on scooter in Queens traffic stop

Two NYPD Officers were taken to Elmhurst Hospital after they were shot by a man riding a motorcycle near 89th Street and 23rd Avenue in Queens on Monday, June 3, 2024. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News/TNS)

NEW YORK — Two NYPD cops were wounded in a shootout with a migrant teen on a scooter they stopped early Monday for riding the wrong way down a Queens one-way street, police said.

The pair of uniformed officers — one struck in his bullet-resistant vest, the other in his leg — are in stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital.

The cop shot in the vest “was more concerned about his partner” as he used a tourniquet to slow the bleeding from that officer’s leg, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry said.

The suspect, 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro Mata, was struck in the right ankle when at least one officer opened fire, and was taken to New-York Presbyterian Hospital Queens, where he was undergoing surgery. The gun he allegedly used to shoot the cops was recovered.

Castro Mata entered the U.S. illegally from Venezuela through Eagle Pass, Texas, last July and had been staying at a Ditmars Blvd. migrant shelter that used to be a Marriott Courtyard, NYPD officials said

“This is a bullet hole,” Mayor Adams said at a press conference at Elmhurst Hospital as he held up the vest worn by one of the officers. “Because of this vest a young police officer is going home — senseless act of violence, a total disregard for life.”

The officers, investigating an area robbery pattern involving thieves on mopeds and scooters, spotted the suspect riding the wrong way on 82nd St. near 23rd Ave. in East Elmhurst about 1:40 a.m., NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said. They tried to pull him over but the teen got off the scooter and ran off.

“Our officers began a foot pursuit, which led for several blocks,” Caban said. “During the pursuit, the suspect fired multiple rounds at our officers, who then returned fire.”

The wounded cops are recovering.

“We visited the officers and their families a few moments ago,” Caban said. “They’re in good spirits.”

Mata, Kenny said, has no arrests in the city but is a suspect in several Queens robbery patterns. One victim, Kenny said was a woman who was attacked, with her credit card stolen and later used in a smoke shop.

The patterns are part of a larger trend, he said, noting that through June 1, hundreds of crimes — shootings, robberies and phone snatches — have been linked to more than 80 patterns around the city.

There were 20 such patterns during the same time last year — and none during the same time in 2022, he noted.

The wounded officers, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said, are “very brave and courageous for what they did tonight — what they’ve been doing to keep New Yorkers safe.”

One officer is a five-year veteran, he said. The other has been on the force 2 1/2 years.

Police have recovered 16,341 guns since the start of the Adams administration — 2,746 this year.

“Every day New Yorkers are not wearing these,” Adams said, referring to the vest.

The shooting is the first of an NYPD cop since Officer Jonathan Diller was killed in March as he tried to pull a gun suspect out of a car in Far Rockaway.


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