NEW YORK - A New York City Department of Correction officer is being hailed a hero after shooting a man who pointed a gun at a crowd in Queens, said Mayor Eric Adams.
Correction Officer David Donegan, who was off-duty at the time, was also shot during a memorial celebration near 214 Place and Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village.
According to Adams and police officials, a 23-year-old man pointed a gun toward the crowd Monday at about 8 p.m. That's when the correction officer took out his gun and fired at the man striking him in the torso.
The man fired back, striking the officer in the leg.
The Correction Officers' Benevolent Association said a second man also took out a gun and pointed it at the crowd.
"He showed heroic actions tonight, and because of that I believe he saved the lives of other innocent people in this community," said Adams during a news conference late Sunday.
"Yesterday evening, as a crowd of people were observing an event remembering the passing of a friend, two individuals pulled out weapons and pointed them, firing at the crowd including our Correction Officer, David Donegan. Thankfully, Officer Donegan, who was off duty at the time, immediately pulled out his weapon and engaged them, firing several shots. During the exchange of shots fired, our officer was hit in the leg and transferred to a nearby hospital," said COBA President Benny Boscio.
The officer and the gunman were taken to a hospital. Their injuries were not life-threatening, added police. The officer was discharged hours later.
"While the police investigation remains ongoing, one thing is crystal clear, had our officer not exercised his training and made a split second decision, this incident could have cost many innocent people their lives, including his own. His actions were nothing short of heroic. I thank Mayor Adams for visiting him last night and ask the public to call 1-800-577-TIPS with any information that can help with the police investigation and bring the suspects to justice. In the meantime, we are praying for the officer’s speedy recovery," added Boscio.
"He’s a hero. Taking proper action while off duty is one of the most difficult things to do," said Adams.