UPDATE: Police are searching for 24-year-old John Thomas, who lives just four blocks from where Sgt. Craig Bier was shot, according to signs posted police. The NYPD confirmed the suspect who walked into an area hospital shortly after the shooting is no longer in custody.
In a week already riddled with gun violence, a police officer was shot twice in the legs by a suspect in Queens Wednesday night.
NYPD Sgt. Craig Bier was in plainclothes and an unmarked car when he and his partner stopped a man on a bicycle. The man fled and Bier chased him on foot, eventually exchanging gunfire with suspect near 107th Ave. and Union Hall St. in Jamaica. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the suspect fired four times and Bier six. Bier was shot twice in the legs.
A first-year cop applied pressure to Bier's wounds to control the bleeding, Mayor Bloomberg said. Bier was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.
"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," Bloomberg said at Jamaica Hospital last night. "Thank God Sergeant Bier’s injuries are non-life threatening. He is alert and in remarkably good spirits."
Police recovered the suspect's Ruger 9-mm. pistol. They searched for the suspect, described as a 6'4" black man wearing a white T-shirt. A man police believe is the shooter has been taken into custody after walking into an area hospital with a graze wound to the head.
Bier is the son of an NYPD veteran who was also survived being shot in the line of duty, according to the Daily News.
Bloomberg used Bier's shooting as a platform to tout his position on gun control last night.
"Thirty-four people are being murdered in this country every single day with illegal firearms, and I think it’s fair to say we are still waiting for the leaders of our country and those who want to be the leaders of our country to stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about this," he said.
It has been a particularly bloody week in NYC, after 10 people were shot in six acts of gang violence on Tuesday night — the same evening Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commission Kelly attended the anti-violence event National Night Out Against Crime.