New York: Two police officers shot and wounded during a gun battle on a New York City subway train have been released from the hospital, as authorities identified the man who opened fire and was later killed. The subway shooting was the second of two Thursday involving New York City police officers, prompting Mayor Michael Bloomberg to criticise the top US gun lobbying group.
In the subway shooting, police said Peter Jourdan, 37, passed between subway cars while the train was moving, which is illegal, shortly before 7:30 pm local time Thursday. As the train pulled into a Brooklyn station, plainclothes officers Michael Levay and Lukasz Kozicki asked Jourdan for his identification, and instead he pulled out a handgun and opened fire, police said.
Kozicki was struck three times and Levay had a graze wound to his back but was able to return fire, killing Jourdan, police said. A passenger also suffered a graze wound in the chaos, while others ran for cover on the platform when the gunfire erupted, police said.
There were no other injuries. Jourdan, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, had been arrested at least seven other times, including once in Los Angeles for bringing a gun to court. Both Levay, 27, and Kozicki, 32, were released from the hospital on Friday.
The subway violence occurred about an hour after another shooting involving a police officer. Off-duty Police Officer Juan Pichardo was shot in the thigh at his family's Bronx car dealership during a robbery at about 6:30 pm. "In recent weeks, we've heard some people say that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But sometimes the good guys get shot and sometimes, they are killed," Bloomberg told reporters Thursday.
Bloomberg is very outspoken on gun violence and has been critical of the National Rifle Association's suggestion in December that the solution to school shootings like the recent one in Newtown, Connecticut, should be addressed by putting an armed police officer in every school in the country.
The Newtown shooting killed 20 children, ages 6 and 7, along with six adults at the school. In New York City last year, 11 officers were struck by gunfire on duty and one off-duty, though none were fatal.
The violence this week came after news of record low violent crime in the city. There were 418 murders in 2012, the lowest since reliable record keeping began in 1963. The previous low was 471, in 2009.