FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG UPDATES NEW YORKERS ON SHOOTING OF POLICE OFFICER ROBERT SALERNO
The Following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's Remarks as Delivered at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx
"Good afternoon. I'm joined by Governor Paterson, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chief of Department Joe Esposito, Chief of Patrol James Hall, Chief of Housing Joanne Jaffe and others that Commissioner Kelly will introduce later, as well as Jose Sanchez, the Executive Director of Lincoln Hospital.
"Here is what we know at this point: Police Officer Robert Salerno, assigned to the 44th Precinct here in the Bronx was shot after he responded to a 911 call. I've met with his father, mother, and brother here at the hospital, and accidentally I've known his father for about 20 years. So it makes it personal for me.
"Officer Salerno is in stable condition and I would like to personally thank the doctors and staff here at Lincoln for their expert work today. His injuries are believed to be not to be life threatening. He is 25 years old and has been a Police Officer for three years. He suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen, including one that was blocked by his bullet resistant vest, possibly saving his life.
"The shooting took place just after noon at a NYCHA development called the Morrisania Air Rights located at 3073 Park Avenue. Officer Salerno was one of a number of patrol officers who responded to a 911 call concerning a dispute at that address. There was a confrontation in which shots were fired. Officer Salerno was wounded and the suspected shooter, Santiago Urena, died. Let me turn things over now to Commissioner Kelly.
"I did speak to NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on the way here, who asked me to thank the NYPD for everything that they do to keep public housing residents safe.
"As Commissioner Kelly said, a 38-caliber revolver was recovered from the scene, and while we don't know yet how this gun ended up in the Bronx, since it is a handgun, it is very unlikely that it was obtained legally.
"As many of you know we have fought a national battle to rid streets of illegal guns. We have visited cities and state capitals from coast to coast, but I think it's visits to hospitals like this one that brings home why this is so important.
"This was clearly a very dangerous situation. And we should all be grateful that the courageous and dedicated men and women of the NYPD willingly face danger every day to protect us and our families, so that we can go about our lives in safety.
"That really is what makes them truly New York's Finest."
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958