New York City Police officials confirmed Monday morning that a preliminary investigation determined two uniformed officers assigned to the 115th Precinct public safety team were investigating an ongoing string of robberies in the area. These robberies, according to officials, involved perpetrators on mopeds and motorized scooters.

NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban says,

They [the officers] observed a male suspect drive a moped the wrong way on 82nd Street near 23rd Avenue and attempted to pull him over. The suspect then fled on foot and the officers began a foot pursuit, which led for several blocks. During the pursuit, the suspect fired multiple rounds at our officers, who then returned fire. One officer was shot in the front of his bullet resistant vest. The other officer was shot in his leg.

The suspect was also shot in the ankle and was a brought to a New York City hospital for treatment. Police officials confirmed that this suspect was in fact an alleged repeat offender, though he has never been arrested in the city before. Police officials believe the individual has engaged in several robberies in the area. The NYPD officials also confirmed the suspect was in fact an illegal immigrant who came into the country from Eagle Pass, Texas in 2023 and was staying at an emergency migrant shelter at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd, East Elmhurst, NY.

New York Police Chief Detective Joseph Kenney also spoke at the press conference regarding this incident. Kenney identified the shooter as 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro Matta. Kenney said he originally came from Venezuela. Kenny said,

What we know is that the our shooter here, he entered the country from Venezuela, he entered through Eagle Pass, Texas back in July of 2023. So, we know that he entered the country illegally.

Kenny also confirmed that there is a belief by officers that he has been invovled in other crimes before. Kenny said,

the patterns that we're looking at currently in Queens that he's involved with involve phone snatches and instances where a woman was attacked. Her credit card was stolen and eventually used in a queen smoke shop.

These officers are two brave individuals who constantly put their lives in jeopardy to protect the community from danger. This incident has continued to shine a light on the plight of the illegal immigration crisis in the nation and the need for further criminal justice reform in the state.

New York City Police PBA President Patrick Hendry was very vocal in supporting the officers and their heroic acts. He also spoke about why he felt this criminal was so emboldened to commit this crime and run.

We've been in courtrooms across this city demanding change, packing those courtrooms, demanding change to the criminal justice system. And what we noticed when the cameras are on, everyone is doing their job, holding criminals accountable. When their cameras are off and people aren't paying attention, the criminal justice system is putting police officers and the public at risk. We're going to continue to be in the courtrooms across this city for this case.

Something has to be done. At least in this year's legislative session Governor Kathy Hochul seems to have no urgency with regard to this issue. The legislative session will be over soon and with no indication there is any solution on the horizon. God Bless these officers who put themselves in harm's way. Best wishes are being sent for a speedy recovery.

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If you ever wondered what type of crime is most common in New York State, personal injury law firm Gruber Law Offices found out exactly that.

Using the latest statistics from the United States Bureau of Justice, they identified the 5 crimes that are reported most in the state.

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Below are individuals wanted by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations who have been designated as its Most Wanted Fugitives. They should be considered armed and dangerous. This list is current as of 7/01/2024:

NEVER attempt to apprehend a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to report it. All leads and tips are treated as confidential information.

If an immediate response is necessary, such as you see the wanted person at a location, please call “911” and report it to the police.

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

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