Keldy Ortiz, NY Daily News, January 10, 2016
An NYPD officer was shot in the leg Saturday in a wild gun battle in the Bronx that ended with the wounded cop blasting the suspect four times, police said.
The shootout erupted at 2:10 a.m. after Officer Sherrod Stuart arrived at the scene of a massive street fight in Mott Haven involving combatants armed with guns, knives and bats, cops said.
More than 15 rounds were fired as Stuart, who was shot in his right ankle, and other officers exchanged fire with cop-hating gunman Christopher Rice, 19.
Struck by Stuart’s bullets in the neck, abdomen, thigh and hand, Rice was taken to Lincoln Hospital in serious condition.
Rice got into the gunfight just three hours after he was released from jail following an arrest on a fare-beating charge, cops said.
Stuart and his partner from the 40th Precinct rushed to 2505 Third Ave. after a brawl at an impromptu party, which had swelled to 200 people, spilled out into the street, cops said.
Five people were stabbed and later rushed to area hospitals as the melee grew more chaotic.
Backup officers arrived as Stuart and his partner were attempting to quell the fight.
At the center of the brawl was Rice, who was spotted carrying a gun, sources said.
When Stuart and other officers moved in on Rice, he took off running and fired at the pursuing cops, sources said.
A .380 semiautomatic gun was recovered at the scene. Three additional firearms were recovered in the area, police said.
Rice’s family members defended him in an exclusive interview with the Daily News.
“When they said my brother shot a cop, I couldn’t believe it. I know that he would never shoot a cop. I just know he wouldn’t do it,” said Tyree Losey, 26, Rice’s older brother. “He helped elderly ladies with their bags across the street. Everybody has a criminal history. I have a criminal history, but my brother would never.”
Rice’s rap sheet includes the fare-beating pinch, an assault on a cop in March 2015, a resisting arrest bust in September 2014 and a sealed arrest in 2012 for another assault.
“F— you, cops,” he shrieked as he tussled with officers on Willis Ave. in the Bronx during the 2014 arrest, according to a criminal complaint. “I hate you all.”
Rice’s most recent bust came on Friday when he was caught walking through the exit gate without paying a fare at the Third Ave.-138th St. station in the Bronx about 9:15 a.m., sources said.