2008_10_qnshc.jpgShortly after 5 p.m., during the rush hour commute at the 21st Street and 41st Avenue subway station in Queens, two plainclothes police officers were shot while struggling with a man illegally using a student Metrocard.

As he was being handcuffed, the suspect, identified as Raul Nunez, 32, struggled with the cops, Shane Farina, 38, and Jason Maass, 28. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "All three went to the ground. During the struggle, one of the officer's guns came loose...Nuñez grabbed it, stood up and fired at both officers while they were on the ground."

Nunez ran up the station's escalator, firing at the cops once again, but another plainclothes police officer, Lt. Gary Abrahall who had been supervising Farina and Maass, was up there and confronted him. Nunez fired three times at Abrahall, who was not hit; Abrahall then fired back at Nunez, hitting him in the leg and torso.

2008_10_qnshc2.jpgMaass suffered a gunshot wound in the back, while Farina's was in the sternum. The Daily News reports that "Maass is expected to be released Wednesday," while the bullet that hit Farina went "through the cloth in the side of [his] bulletproof vest, ripping into the officer's side, fracturing a rib and exiting his chest." Farina is in critical but stable condition.

Nunez, an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic who had been previously deported for a drug conviction, indicated he was afraid of being deported again. He was caught with the student Metrocard because a light goes off at the turnstile when a student Metrocards are used; according to the NY Times, Abrahall, "who concluded that [Nunez] did not look like a student...radioed from the station booth on the upper level to the officers on the Manhattan-bound platform below that a man approaching them appeared to be a fare beater." The Queens DA's office said Nunez will be charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

Police swarmed the neighborhood after the shooting--one man said, "Cops were jumping out of their cars before they were even stopped. They were shouting, ‘Get out of the way.’" Unfortunately, the neighborhood wasn't shocked by the violence. One man told the Post, "In this neighborhood this always happens. It's usually between the drug dealers."