NYPD says 2 officers shot during domestic call in Brooklyn expected to recover; suspect also wounded

Jan 16, 2024, 5:18 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers were shot as they struggled with a domestic violence suspect who grabbed one officer’s gun, officials said Tuesday. The suspect also was wounded.

All were hospitalized after a shooting that revived memories of the killings of two New York Police Department officers during a domestic disturbance call almost exactly two years earlier. But the officers who were wounded Tuesday — one in the left hand and the other in the left thigh — were expected to recover fully, Police Chief Edward Caban said. Police said the suspect, shot multiple times, was in critical but stable condition.

“Our officers are lucky to be alive at this hour,” Caban said at a news conference at the hospital.

Police haven’t yet released body camera video of the encounter, and investigators are still working to determine exactly what happened, including the number of guns fired and by whom. It wasn’t immediately clear whether suspect Melvin Butler, 39, has an attorney who can comment on the charges, and no telephone number could immediately be found for him.

Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat and retired police captain, called Butler “a very violent and dangerous person” who “attempted to harm our police officers, but they responded accordingly.”

Police were called to a Brooklyn apartment around 3 p.m. by a woman who reported that her son was assaulting her and that she had a head injury, Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. A sergeant and three officers, all uniformed, arrived and tried to arrest Butler, but he resisted, launching a violent struggle, according to Kenny.

Kenny said that body camera video recorded the officers and Butler going to the ground and then an officer saying, “He has my gun.” Then shots are heard on the video, Kenny said.

On Jan. 21, 2022, Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Morawere fatally wounded in a Harlem apartment while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. The son swung open a bedroom door and gunned down Mora and Rivera, police said. A third officer, Officer Sumit Sulan, then fatally shot the gunman.

President Joe Biden honored all three officers with the Medal of Valor this past May. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for bravery shown by a public safety officer.

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NYPD says 2 officers shot during domestic call in Brooklyn expected to recover; suspect also wounded