The 17-year-old boy who allegedly shot a plainclothes cop while being chased by officers Sunday night in East New York has been charged with attempted murder. (Both the officer who was shot and the teen are recovering at separate hospitals.) Officer Richard Ramirez was struck twice in the right leg and once in the lower-right abdomen, but his bulletproof vest blocked the abdomen shot, and his partner luckily caught him as he fell backwards down the stairs where the shootout unfolded in "a fraction of a minute," according to NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly.
The teen, Elijah Foster-Bey, was higher up on the stairs as he allegedly fired six rounds from a .32-caliber revolver, then threw the gun down the steps at the cops. His mother, a paralegal who lives on Long Island, tells the Daily News her son sustained eight bullet wounds; one hit a leg artery and entered his colon and bladder. He's listed in critical condition, and Cross says, "They shot upward, so the bullets went up in him. I've not spoken to my son to find out what happened. It's ridiculous. I don't care what they say he's done—a mother should be able to see her son when he's in the hospital like this."
Cross tells City Room her son was staying with an uncle in East New York part time while he worked as a bicycle messenger in Manhattan. She says he's been issued four tickets for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, which is what he was initially stopped for on Sunday night, before he allegedly dropped the bike and ran. Sources say Foster-Bey has told investigators, "I was running away because I had a gun on me. I was trying to get to the roof." Police say the Officer Ramirez's anticrime unit was investigating a string of robberies on bikes.
Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Foster-Bey's mother took out an order of protection against him in February 2008, and that it's still in effect. His uncle, William Stafford, resides two blocks from the scene of the shooting, and described the teen as "smart and a clever chess player but who was prone to following the crowd." He tells the Journal, "I have asked him to avoid coming here. If he is not coming here to work or look for employment or is not looking to further his lack of education then why is he coming here? There is a lot of wasted youth around here."