Two police officers were wounded by gunfire last night when a third officer opened fire while chasing a drug suspect. The injured officers were part of a group providing backup for an undercover narcotics unit investigating drug activity near Fordham Road in the Bronx. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says a group of eight men approached the plainclothes officers in a "confrontational manner," and when the car with backup pulled up, the suspects scattered. Three of the officers chased one perp into an apartment building, at which point a pit bull leaped out of a basement apartment at the end of a narrow alley.
An undercover officer, whom police would only identify as female, fired one round at the dog, hitting it in the paw. The 9-mm. bullet split into fragments, ricocheting through the alley and striking Detective Thomas Guarino, 31, a nine-year NYPD veteran, in the right cheek, and Detective Thomas McHale, 37, a 12-year veteran, in the left leg. "Both officers are conscious, both are speaking and the wounds aren't life-threatening," Browne tells the Post.
As for the dog, Browne tells the Daily News, "He looked strong and intimidating to me after he was shot. He was alive and was protesting being taken into custody." Speaking to NY1, he added, "There's still ongoing dangerous work for police everyday for police to keep neighborhoods safe. And sometimes it results in somebody letting loose a dog—a pitbull to be used as a weapon against police quite often." All eight suspects were arrested following the shooting. One witness tells the Post she heard one of the suspects say, "It was fucking good for him," when he heard a cop had been wounded.