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
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…