- Last Updated: 6:35 AM, August 10, 2012
- Posted: 11:00 PM, August 8, 2012
William C Lopez
A plainclothes NYPD sergeant was hit in the legs in a shootout last night as he and another cop chased a thug in Queens, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Sgt. Craig Bier, the 10th NYPD cop to be wounded in the line of duty this year, did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the latest incident of gun violence plaguing the city.
The suspected gunman, who had a graze wound to the head, was nabbed nearby.
Bier, 44, and Det. Nick Romano — both from the Queens Gang Unit — were patrolling Jamaica in an unmarked vehicle at about 10:30 p.m. when they spotted a man on a bicycle acting suspiciously, according to the sources.
The cops began following the man in their vehicle, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The suspect then started running from the cops, who sprinted after him.
He ran down a narrow alleyway and climbed over a chain-link fence, Kelly said.
Bier ran around the fence and the suspect then fired four times, Kelly said.
Bier — a 15-year-vet whose father is a retired NYPD detective — was struck once in each thigh, Kelly said.
But he was able to return fire and squeezed off six shots, Kelly said.
One witness, a 27-year-old woman who lives nearby, said she saw the wounded cop’s fellow officers loading him into a car to rush him to the hospital.
“They just took him and threw him in an unmarked car,” the woman said.
“They were yelling, ‘Take him to Jamaica Hospital! Take him to Jamaica Hospital!’ ”
William C Lopez
Mayor Bloomberg and Kelly arrived at Jamaica Hospital early today to meet with Bier and his family.
“Thank God this officer will recover,” Bloomberg said. “He’s alert and in good spirits. He was joking around with the doctor,” Bloomberg said.
Kelly added: “This is the type of officer the public should thank God they have working for them.”
The suspect, a 33-year-old with an extensive record including arrests for narcotics, attempted murder and robbery, was nabbed in the neighborhood.
His name was withheld pending charges. He was taken to an area hospital.
A Ruger 9mm pistol was recovered on 107th Avenue with three rounds left in the magazine and another in the chamber, Kelly said.
The bloodshed comes as city shootings are up more than 8 percent for the year, compared with 2011.
Additional reporting by Helen Freund and Erin Calabrese