Police Officers Richard Yarusso and Christopher Abreu are escorted out of Elmhurst Hospital in Queens after being treated there for wounds they suffered after being shot on June 3, 2024. (Courtesy of NYPD)

Cops From Long Island Shot By Armed Suspect Survive With Minor Injuries: NYPD

By Dean Moses

Two NYPD cops from Long Island survived a brush with death early on June 3 after an armed suspect opened fire on them during a foot pursuit, police reported.

According to Police Commissioner Edward Caban, the incident unfolded at around 1:40 a.m. on June 3 on 82nd Street near 23rd Avenue in East Elmhurst, Queens, when two officers from the 115th Precinct‘s Neighborhood Public Safety Team attempted to pull over 19-year-old Venezuelan native Bernardo Castro Mata who was allegedly driving the wrong way on a scooter.

Mata then apparently fled on foot, leading police on a pursuit that lasted several blocks — and ended when the suspect began firing at the officers, whom police sources identified as Richard Yarusso and Christopher Abreu, both 26. According to News12 Long Island, Yarusso lives in Suffolk County, and Abreu lives in New Hyde Park.

“The suspect fired multiple rounds at our officers, who then returned fire. One officer [Yarusso] was shot in the front of his bullet-resistant vest, the other officer [Abreu] was shot in his leg,” Caban said during an early morning press conference Monday at Elmhurst Hospital. “The suspect was also shot in the right ankle.”

Yarusso, who has two years on the job, provided immediate aid to Abreu, wrapping a tourniquet around his leg until additional help arrived, sources familiar with the case said.

Both officers were rushed to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Mata, meanwhile, was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive.

Mayor Eric Adams joined police brass at Elmhurst Hospital and lifted up the vest, showing where the bullet struck the cop. Adams solemnly condemned the attack on the NYPD, and counted the city’s blessings that both officers survived.

“This is a bullet hole. Because of this vest, a young police officer is going home. Senseless act of violence, a total disregard for life,” Adams said, clinging to the vest. “Today, we thank God.”

Both officers were discharged from Elmhurst Hospital just before 8 a.m. on Monday, June 3, with Yarusso pushing Abreu in a wheelchair out of the medical facility as they both made their way home.

Just Getting Started

Kevin James Thornton’s super second act

By Amanda Olsen • May 10, 2024


Dining guide-spring
  • No events