After working an eight-hour shift on New Year’s Eve, the unnamed officer went to rest in his car before starting his next shift at 7 am, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a press conference on Saturday.
At 6:15 am the officer woke up and realized a rear window was shattered, and felt pain to the left side of his head, she said.
When he went to the precinct to get help, a sergeant noticed blood coming from the officer’s head and called an ambulance.
Sewell said that the officer underwent surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital to remove bullet fragments, and doctors determined he had a fractured skull.
The officer, who is a seven-year veteran with the NYPD, is recovering from his injury, authorities said.
“We are grateful that our officer is recovering, as we know this could have been a very tragic outcome,” Sewell said.
—Commissioner Sewell (@NYPDPC) January 1, 2022
Officials said that an investigation was ongoing but that it appeared that the bullet was fired from a significant distance, and there was no initial indication that the officer had been targeted.
Sewell said that there had been no other 911 calls for gunfire in the area at the time, and that officers outside the station had not heard any shots fired.
Mayor Eric Adams, who spoke at the press conference hours after being sworn in, said that the shooting was reflective of the wider issue of gun violence in the city.
“Mission one is to deal with the gun violence in our city,” Mayor Eric Adams said at the press conference.
“This is a horrendous act that took place, to have a shooting of this magnitude while resting to go back to perform duties to protect our city.”
Adams, who is a former police offiver, echoed promises he made on the campaign trail to target gun violence in New York City.
“We must not only find the gun, but we must find the person who discharged the weapon, and we must find those who believe they’re going to destroy our city with gun and gang violence,” Adams said.
Gun violence reached record lows in New York in 2018 and 2019, but increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The New York Times.