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Police Officer Is Shot and Suspect Dies After Chase in the Bronx

A New York City police officer was shot in the arm on Tuesday night as he and a partner on a public safety team confronted a suspect near Crotona Park in the Bronx, the police said.

The two uniformed officers were on patrol near Third Avenue and Claremont Parkway about 10:45 p.m. when they spotted the man, and one of the officers approached him, the police said at a news conference on Tuesday night.

The man, Rameek Smith, 25, began to run, and the officers gave chase, said James W. Essig, chief of detectives for the New York Police Department. The officers followed Mr. Smith to Bathgate Avenue, where Mr. Smith turned and fired two shots, striking one of the officers, the chief said. The officers fired back, and Mr. Smith was shot in the head.

He died early Wednesday at St. Barnabas Hospital, a spokesman for the Police Department said.

The officer who was shot was in stable condition at Lincoln Hospital late Tuesday, the police said.

The police said a 9-millimeter Glock handgun that had been stolen last year in Richmond, Va., had been recovered at the scene.

It was not clear why the officers had initially decided to follow Mr. Smith.

The police said that Mr. Smith, who gave his address as a homeless shelter on Staten Island and has relatives in the Bronx, had an extensive arrest record. He was awaiting sentencing next month on a weapons possession charge after he was caught with a handgun in a Brooklyn subway station, Chief Essig said.

“Here’s the problem,” Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, said at the news briefing, which was held at Lincoln Hospital. “The arrest was March 2020, and for 20 months after the arrest he remained on the streets.”

Mayor Eric Adams of New York spoke about the shooting from Lincoln Hospital on Tuesday night.Credit…Dakota Santiago for The New York Times

“The number of shootings we respond to every night is despicable,” Mr. Adams said.

The shooting was the latest in a series of attacks on police officers that have tested Mr. Adams, a former police captain and transit officer who has vowed to heighten public safety after increases in certain crimes amid the pandemic.

In late January, two police officers were killed after being shot inside a Harlem apartment while responding to a call about a mother and son fighting. Earlier that month, an officer was hospitalized after being shot while sleeping in a car outside a station house in East Harlem.

On Jan. 19, a single bullet fired by a teenager struck a police officer and the gunman as they scuffled during a confrontation in the Bronx.

Ashley Southall, Chelsia Rose Marcius and Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.

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