Two New York police officers shot dead an off duty college security officer after he opened fire and wounded them while responding to a domestic violence call at his home
November 24, 2020, 11:12 p.m.
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NEW YORK – Two New York police officers shot dead an off duty college security officer Tuesday after he opened fire and wounded them responding to a domestic violence call at his home, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Rondell Goppy, 41, walked into his Queens home and started shooting around 12:45 p.m. just minutes after officers arrived there with a woman who had gone to her police station to report an attack, Shea said.
“Whether he was lying in wait or just about to arrive will be part of the investigation,” Shea told reporters at a press conference outside the hospital where the officers were treated.
Police officer Christopher Wells, 36, was shot in the leg and had to undergo surgery to repair a broken thigh bone. 33-year-old officer Joseph Murphy was injured in the hand and had to undergo surgery because of his injuries.
Both officers were awake and stable, Shea said.
“Thank God they will pull through,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio after visiting the families of the officials in the hospital. “You are badly injured, but ultimately you will be fine.”
Wells, a member of the NYPD since 2007, and Murphy, who joined the force in 2015, were both assigned to the 105th ward, which covers the location of the shooting. Goppy’s home is in a neighborhood near John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Shea said a 41-year-old woman who lives with Goppy went to the police station Tuesday to report a domestic violence incident that happened Monday evening. Officers escorted the woman back home and were there for about six minutes when Goppy came and started shooting, Shea said.
Goppy was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was not injured. The fire department initially reported that their ambulances were responding to a shootout involving two officers and a civilian. The civilian turned out to be a goppy.
Goppy worked as a peace officer at New York City College in Harlem and was licensed to carry firearms. The college confirmed his appointment but did not provide details. Goppy is listed as a “Crime Prevention Specialist” on the college’s website. Public records indicate that he has been working there for about 10 years.
Shea said that Goppy had no criminal record, but that there have been multiple calls in the past about domestic violence at home and that the police are investigating what came of these cases. A police officer said Goppy had his guns taken away in July but they were returned in September.
Two of Goppy’s guns were found at the scene and a third was recovered elsewhere, Shea said. According to the law enforcement officer, one of the weapons was found under his body, who was not authorized to speak publicly, on condition of anonymity.
Domestic violence calls are among the most sensitive police officers deal with and have had fatal results in the past. In 2016, Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo was killed and another officer wounded in an exchange of fire with a man who broke into his estranged wife’s home. The man was also killed.
The head of the city’s largest police union said Tuesday’s shooting was a reminder of the dangers officers face and the potential chaos he has created from movements to cut police budgets and prevent officers from responding to certain types of action Calls could claim.
For example, the city recently announced a plan to test whether rescue workers and mental health workers should take the place of the police in responding to calls for people with emotional distress. The city plans to launch the program next year in two as yet unidentified neighborhoods. Police officers also react when there is a weapon or an imminent risk of damage.
“(Sometimes) it seems awfully easy to put in the script here and here’s what we’re going to do,” said Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association. “What we see here today and police officers see all the time is that there is no script. We cannot be removed. We have to be there. “
Associate press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.
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