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(UPDATED) NYPD chief praises EMT for quick thinking in officer's shooting

A police officer was shot and wounded during a struggle with a suspect at Harlem Hospital this morning, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Scene in front of Harlem Hospital where as police officer was shot in the foot.  Credit: Lenyon Whitaker/Metro The officer was shot during a struggle with a disturbed man at Harlem Hospital.
Credit: Lenyon Whitaker/Metro

UPDATE: The suspect who allegedly shot a police officer in the foot at Harlem Hospital Monday morning has been officially arrested and charged, the NYPD reported Monday night.

Guyteau Idore, 42, was charged with attempted murder, robbery, and assault.

Metro's original story is below.

A police officer was shot this morning during a struggle with a man he had just taken into custody, and an EMT apparently came to the rescue, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

At a press conference at Harlem Hospital on Monday morning, Kelly described how the shooting occurred.

Police responded to a 4:44 a.m. 911 call reporting an assault in progress at 117th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, Kelly said. The caller reported that the alleged assailant had been throwing bottles and had assaulted another individual in the street.

Kelly said the responding officers, Fausto Gomez and John Chiodi, determined that the alleged assailant, identified by police as Guiteau Idore, 42, was emotionally unstable. They were able to handcuff him and load him into an ambulance manned by EMT Brandon Hernandez, Kelly said.

Kelly said Chiodi accompanied Idore and Hernandez in the ambulance for psychiatric evaluation at Harlem Hospital. Gomez followed in a marked patrol car.

When the ambulance arrived at Harlem Hospital and Chiodi attempted to unload Idore from the ambulance and walk him up the emergency room loading ramp, Idore began to struggle and attempted to flee, Kelly said.

Gomez and Chiodi reportedly grabbed onto Idore and were on either side of him when they reached the top of the ramp, Kelly said. Despite being handcuffed behind his back, Idore was somehow able to remove Chiodi's service weapon from his belt and fire it twice, grazing Gomez's left foot once.

EMT Hernandez leapt into action, according to Kelly's report, and managed to wrest the gun from Idore's hand and"racked it, to make it safe," according to Kelly.

An NYPD spokesperson explained this as moving the top slide portion of the gun to the rear, locking it in place and making it impossible to fire unless racked a second time.

"He did an outstanding job," Kelly said.

Idore was removed to Metropolitan Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, Kelly said. He allegedly has "extensive arrest history, including assault, menacing and numerous domestic violence incidents."

According to Kelly, Hernandez has aspirations of becoming an NYPD cop.

"He certainly demonstrated that he has what it takes to do the job," Kelly said.

EMT Brandon Hernandez, far left, is pictured here with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Credit: NYPD EMT Brandon Hernandez, far left, is pictured with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Hernandez's partner EMT Jean Altidor, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Credit: NYPD

Gomez was in good condition and reportedly about to be released at the time of Kelly's remarks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also at the hospital to speak with Gomez and his family.

"Because his injury wasn't that serious, it was a lot easier to have that kind of conversation than sometimes when the officer is injured much more seriously," Bloomberg said.

According to Bloomberg, the NYPD gets thousands of calls reporting emotionally disturbed persons yearly.

"These interactions involve plenty of risk and unpredictable behavior," Bloomberg said. "This morning's incident is another example, I think, of the dangers our officers face every day and the incredible restraint that they demonstrate."

Bloomberg said 12 officers were shot in the line of duty last year.

NYPD-Chiodi-Gomez-2 Officer John Chiodi of the 25th Precinct, left, and Officer Fausto Gomez, who was shot in the foot this morning at Harlem Hospital. Credit: NYPD

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
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