NYPD Sgt. Shot In Both Legs While Chasing Down Suspect In Jamaica, Queens

FirearmsQueens (New York City)New York City Police DepartmentRaymond W. Kelly

Another night of violence in New York City. Sergeant Craig Bier was wounded in both his legs Wednesday night in South Jamaica. The 44-year-old plain clothes sergeant is recovering at Jamaica Hospital. Authorities said he is stable and is expected to recover.

"Commissioner Kelly and I just visited with Sergeant Craig Bier, a highly decorated 15-year veteran of the department, who was shot tonight while keeping the rest of us safe," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Sergeant Bier and his partner were on patrol in an unmarked vehicle around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, said authorities. They saw a man acting suspicious at Union Hall Street and 107th Avenue.

The man, who had been on a bicycle, ran down a narrow alley. He climbed a chain link fence to escape and jumped onto a van in a parking lot, said police. But before he could get away, gun fire was exchanged.

"Sergeant Bier who had already run back to 107th Avenue to block the gunman's escape route exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who fired four times, striking the sergeant in both legs," said Commissioner Ray Kelly. "Sergeant Bier returned fire, shooting six times. Sergeant Bier collapsed on the sidewalk along the fence line."

His partner Detective Nick Romano came to his aide. And another police unit nearby, hearing the gunfire, soon arrived. They took Bier to Jamaica Hospital.

"A first year member of the department came to Sergeant Bier's aide and quickly applied pressure to his wounds to prevent any serious damage," said Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly met with Sergeant Bier's family at Jamaica Hospital. Bier's father is a retired NYPD detective.

Police recovered a Ruger 9mm pistol in the rear of 167-11 107th Avenue.

Authorities have identified a person of interest, 24-year-old John Thomas, who is being sought for questioning in connection to the case.

The organization, Cop Shot, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the shooter.

PIX11 News is participating in an upcoming gun buyback program in Jamaica Queens. That is scheduled for August 18th, 10am to 4pm, at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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FirearmsQueens (New York City)New York City Police DepartmentRaymond W. Kelly