Gun belt saves NYPD officer from death in Lower East Side shooting

Officer Richards wore the gun belt around his left abdomen. The bullet bent the magazine and this photo shows the indent where it hit.

An NYPD officer narrowly escaped death this morning at a shoot-out on the far Lower East Side, when a spare gun clip deflected a bullet meant for him.
 
Police Officer Thomas Richards, while patrolling near the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, was stepping out of a police van at 1:44 a.m. when he was shot at by a 25-year-old man, cops said.
 
The man, Luis Martinez, “muttered something indecipherable, turned toward Officer Richards and fired numerous times,” according to the NYPD.
 
One of the rounds hit a spare ammunition magazine on Richards’ gun belt, which bent the magazine with its force. Richards had the gun belt slung around his lower left abdomen, and had the belt not been there, the bullet would have struck him in the lower stomach.
 
Richards then returned fire, and Martinez exchanged bullets with Richards and his partner, Officer Thomas Dunne, as he attempted to flee.
 
Martinez was hit in the upper right leg, and officers followed the blood trail to an apartment on Baruch Drive, where he was taken to the hospital. Martinez is now in stable condition.
 
They found his 9mm Taurus handgun in the trash compactor at the same building, cops said.

Neither Dunne nor Richards was injured in this morning’s shootout and both have since been examined and released from the hospital.
 
“It was a very close call for Officer Richards,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “The magazine may have well saved his life.”
 
This was the fourth shooting of a New York City officer in two months, including the death of Sgt. Peter Figoski, killed in December while responding to a robbery.

Officer Kevin Herlihy was shot while tracking a suspect in a Harlem subway station Feb. 14. The suspect, Michael McBride, was shot and killed. He was a suspect in a Queens shooting, cops said.  

And in a “miracle,” Kelly said, officer Kevin Brennan survived a bullet to the head Jan. 31. He was shot while wrestling a murder suspect, Kelly said, and the bullet stopped near his skull. Luis “Baby” Ortiz was charged with attempted murder.

Both Kerlihy and Brennan were promoted after the shootings. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.