NEW YORK — An officer of the New York Police Department suffered a gunshot wound to the head and suffered a fractured skull on Saturday while sleeping in his personal vehicle between shifts.
Sewell, who was sworn in just hours earlier, told a news conference the officer underwent surgery at New York-Presbyterian hospital for a gunshot wound that fractured his skull. According to the surgeon, the round missed vital structures in his head by mere millimeters after entering at the temple.
The shooting occurred around 6:15 a.m. in the parking lot of a precinct house in East Harlem, Sewell told reporters. The officer awoke the sound of glass shattering in his personal vehicle and felt pain in the left side of his head.
“We are lucky, fortunate and grateful on this New Year’s Day,” Sewell said, U.S. News reported.
The wounded officer was aided from his vehicle by a sergeant who witnessed blood coming from the officer’s head. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery.
Sewell said it was unknown whether the officer was specifically targeted as the investigation gets launched. However, the round was apparently fired from “a significant distance away.” Additional officers who were also sleeping nearby in their vehicles did not hear gunfire.
“It’s hard to tell who the intended target was, if any, but let me say this: There are no stray bullets. There is somebody firing that weapon and we intend to locate that person if possible,” she said.
The unnamed seven-year police veteran was sleeping in his vehicle since precinct bunks were full, according to officials.
The officer worked a full shift Friday in Central Park, according to the commissioner. He was sleeping in his vehicle before starting another shift at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, U.S. News reported.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.