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2 NYPD Officers Shot While Investigating Robbery

Two New York Police Department plain-clothes officers were shot while they investigated a robbery call in the Bronx.

NY1 reports:

"Police say the two officers were part of a five-member plain clothes anti-crime team responding to a call of an armed robbery of a grocery store on East 180th Street.

"The officers were all traveling in a car when they saw one suspect enter a Chinese restaurant on East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue.

"Police say another suspect remained on the street. The two officers approached the suspect on the street, and that's when the first suspect came out of the Chinese restaurant and discharged a weapon, hitting the two officers. The officers returned fire."

The New York Times reports that Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster made it clear that this incident was not like the incident in which two NYPD officers were targeted by a man who said he was seeking revenge for the killings of two unarmed black men by police.

The newspaper adds:

"Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has come under harsh criticism from police unions after the killings of the two officers last month, praised the officers who were wounded on Monday night for quickly moving into action.

" 'These officers did something that was extraordinarily brave this evening,' Mr. de Blasio told reporters at the hospital around 2:30 a.m. He said they were coming off their shift when the robbery call came in, but 'went back out in search of these criminals.'

" 'This is absolutely a case of officers going above and beyond the call to protect their fellow New Yorkers,' Mr. de Blasio said, adding: 'This is another indicator of the dangers that our officers face in the line of duty. We depend on them to keep this whole city safe.' "

On Monday, de Blasio said officers who turned their back on him at the funerals of slain officers had been disrespectful.

"That's the bottom line," de Blasio said, according to The Associated Press. "I can't understand why anyone would do such a thing in the context like that."

Police Commissioner William Bratton backed him, saying a funeral was not the place to "engage in political action."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.