FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2010
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER RAYMOND W. KELLY UPDATE NEW YORKERS ON THE CONDITION OF NYPD OFFICER RICHARD RAMIREZ
Mayor Bloomberg's Remarks as Delivered Tonight at Kings County Medical Center Follow:
"Good evening. I'm here with Police Commissioner Kelly, Chief of Department Esposito, Dr. Eli Kleinman, the NYPD's Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski, Chief of Internal Affairs Charles Campisi, Chief of Brooklyn North Gerald Nelson, Transit Chief James Hall, Father Robert Romano an NYPD Chaplain, Pat Lynch from the PBA, and not here with us but so important are the doctors from the Kings County Trauma Center, Dr. Kirtz, Dr. Angus, and the head of it Dr. Asher Hirshberg.
"Just about two months since we were in a hospital for a similar, almost tragic event. Tonight I'm here because Police Officer Richard Ramirez was shot while on duty, helping keep New York the safest big city in the country. He is now in surgery, receiving world class care here at Kings County Medical Center, and doctors do expect that he will survive and make a full recovery. I met upstairs with his wife Anna, mother Norma and his father Richardo, and some brothers and sisters, and thanked them on behalf of the City.
"You should know that Officer Ramirez - who just turned 29 years old on October 10th - has been on the force for four years, assigned to the 75th precinct here in Brooklyn. Tonight he was patrolling the streets as part of a three man anti-crime team. The team was in plain clothes when they encountered an individual with a handgun about 8:00 tonight, they gave chase.
"The perpetrator ran into a building and up to the third floor where he turned and fired on the officers, hitting Officer Ramirez twice in the right leg. The three officers returned fire and wounded the perpetrator, who is now in surgery at Brookdale hospital.
"Commissioner Kelly will provide details on the incident, but let me just add that Officer Ramirez patrols our streets night and day, and one of the toughest challenges he faces is catching people who carry illegal guns like this one.
"It is highly dangerous work - and it is hugely important - because if Officer Ramirez and his team had not confronted the suspect, the shooter would still be on the street, and he may well have killed innocent New Yorkers.
"We ask an awful lot of our police officers. We ask them to take bullets for us - and they do. In return, we owe them a solemn commitment: to give them the tools they need to do their jobs, and to do everything possible to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.
"Right now, as a country, we are failing our police officers. There is much more we could and should be doing. And until we start honoring that solemn commitment - instead of playing politics - more police officers will be shot. And, tragically, they won't all turn out as lucky as we were today. Some of the police officers will be killed. Ray?
"Let me just repeat once again, there are just too many guns on the streets in the hands of criminals and in the hands of young people. Federal law prohibits young people and people that have been convicted of crimes from having guns, and yet the federal government does not do anywhere near enough to help us get the guns off the streets. These guns are going to kill police officers and kill innocent civilians. It happens all the time.
"In this country, we have a Virginia Tech virtually every single day. Thirty-two people were killed at Virginia Tech; there's roughly thirty-two people that are killed with illegal handguns every single day in our country, and we don't do anything about it. We've just got to stop this. And that's why we have this Mayor's Coalition Against Illegal Guns trying to urge our State and Federal legislators and executives to do something to get these guns off the streets.
"Just thank God Officer Ramirez was not- he wasn't- to say he's lucky is ridiculous. He got shot twice. But thank God it wasn't anything more serious. Thank you very much."
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958