Two NYPD officers were shot during a chase in Queens, police say

Two New York police officers were shot in an exchange of gunfire during a chase in Queens early Monday, New York city officials said.

The officers are both in stable condition. The suspect, who was shot in the leg according to Joe Kenny, the NYPD chief of detectives, is expected to recover.

Monday’s shooting happened as the officers were “addressing” a pattern of robberies in Queens involving suspects on mopeds and scooters, according to New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban.

The suspect, 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro Mata, is an undocumented migrant from Venezuela living at a former hotel repurposed as a migrant shelter in Queens, Kenny said at a news conference Monday.

The Queens District Attorney’s office said Mata has not been arraigned and does not have a defense attorney. The office told CNN unless he hires his own attorney, he would be assigned one for his upcoming arraignment.

The officers encountered a man later identified as Mata driving a moped in the wrong direction down a street and tried to pull him over but the man ran away and the officers chased him on foot for several blocks, Caban said.

Mata opened fired on the police officers, who fired back, according to Caban.

One police officer was shot in the leg, while the other was shot in his bullet-resistant vest.

“We visited the officers and their families a few moments ago. They’re in good spirits and the NYPD stands at the ready to assist them in their full recovery,” Caban said.

Mata is being treated at New York Presbyterian Queens hospital and is expected to survive, police said.

“As of right now, he’s in surgery. We haven’t spoken to him,” Kenny said.

Mata has no prior arrests in New York City but is a suspect in several robberies in Queens, Kenny said at the news conference.

It was not immediately clear whether Mata had been considered a suspect in the robberies prior to the shooting.

Mata was operating an unregistered motorbike, Kenny noted.

“Similar scooters and bikes are being used citywide to commit crimes. These crimes include shootings, robberies and phone snatches,” Kenny said.

Just this year, there have been 80 “robbery patterns” across the city, encompassing hundreds of incidents in which perpetrators rode scooters or motorcycles, Kenny added.

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