FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG UPDATES NEW YORKERS ON THE SHOOTINGS OF POLICE OFFICERS OMAR MEDINA AND AVICHAIM DICKEN
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning
“Good evening, or good morning I guess. I am here with Police Commissioner Kelly; Chief of Department Joe Esposito; Chief of Brooklyn North, Assistant Chief Gerald Nelson; Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper, the Commanding Officer of the 90th Precinct, where one of the responding officers who was shot worked, Assistant Chief Thomas Chan, Chief of Brooklyn South, who I was with this morning at the parade; Chief Philip Banks, Chief of Community Affairs; Chief Charles Campisi, Chief of Internal Affairs; Chief of Patrol James Hall; and Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway and Patrick Lynch, President of the PBA.
“Earlier tonight, about 9:00 PM, an exchange of gunfire between two men erupted on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights. Uniformed officers from a variety of police precincts who were assigned to special duties surrounding the West Indian Parade and Carnival – as thousands of others were – responded to the scene. The officers were fired upon and returned fire, but not before Officer Omar Medina, a 36-year-old officer who has been a member of the NYPD for almost eight years, was hit by bullet fragments in his left arm and chest.
“A second officer, Avichaim Dicken from the 79 Precinct, who has been a police officer for just over eight years, is at Methodist Hospital with a graze wound above his left elbow. The Police Commissioner and I will be visiting him there after we finish speaking to you.
“Officer Medina is in stable condition here at Brookdale Hospital, where he actually needed relatively little of the excellent care provided here. Commissioner Kelly and I met with him a little while ago, and he is expected to make a full recovery. The first criminal shooter is dead. The second died at Kings County Hospital soon after arriving there.
“Now, I wish I could say nothing more than that, I wish I could stand here as Mayor tonight and say that that’s where the story ended.
“But I cannot because, tragically, one of the criminals – a man with an extensive criminal history – fired shots that struck an innocent 56-year-old woman sitting on a stoop two doors down.
“Her name was Denise Gay, and she died immediately with her daughter sitting next to her. It was a senseless murder, and another painful reminder I think of what happens when elected officials in Washington are fail to take the problem of illegal guns seriously. It is a matter of life and death, and in this case the death was an innocent New Yorker.
“Just this morning, Police Commissioner Kelly and I were in Lincoln Terrace Park discussing the problem of illegal guns and the urgent need for Federal action. Here in New York City, the last four years have been the four safest in the City’s history, in part because we have taken unprecedented steps to stem the flow of illegal guns onto our streets. But we cannot do it alone.
“This is a national problem requiring national leadership, but at the moment neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has had the courage to take basic steps that would save lives. I wish Federal representatives from around the country were here with me here tonight to speak with Officer Medina and Officer Dicken, and hear about the dangers they and all of the other New York Finest have to confront every single day. And I wish they would visit the family of Denise Gay, and explain why they didn’t want to press for common sense reforms – like closing the gun show loophole. That would save a lot of lives all across this country.
“Police Commissioner Kelly will fill in some of the details of tonight’s shooting.”
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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