2 NYPD officers shot during traffic stop
"One will recover and one is clinging to life"
NEW YORK — Two New York Police Department officers were shot during a routine traffic stop in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn early Monday morning.
Officer Russell Timoshenko, 23, was shot twice in the face and both .45 caliber bullets remained lodged in the back of his head, police said.
Bullets struck the other officer, Herman Yan, 26, in the left forearm and in the chest area of his bulletproof vest, police said.
"One will recover and one is clinging to life," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference. "I ask all New Yorkers to pray for their recovery."
A police source said investigators believe there were three people in the SUV, and two of them fired on the officers during the traffic stop at the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and Rogers Avenue.
Timoshenko was in "extremely critical condition," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference at Kings County Hospital, where both officers were taken.
Yan was in stable condition and expected to live. "We have every reason to believe that his life was saved by his bullet-proof vest," Kelly said.
Timoshenko, from Staten Island, has been on the force for 1 1/2 years. Yan, from Brooklyn, has been on the force for 3 years.
Bloomberg said the officers had been on "routine patrol in the 71st Precinct. They ran a license plate on a BMW sports utility truck. Turned out the license plate was registered to a Mitsubishi sports utility truck."
"As they approached the vehicle, Officer Yan from the driver's side and Officer Timoshenko from the passenger's side, gunfire erupted from the passenger's side," Bloomberg said. "Officer Timoshenko was shot. Officer Yan returned fire and went to help Officer Timoshenko when he (Yan) was shot as well."
"Tragically, the same can't be said about Officer Timoshenko. He was shot twice in the face and currently in surgery. He apparently has two bullets lodged in the back of his head and is in grave condition."
Bloomberg said he spoke to Timoshenko's parents. "I gave thanks from a concerned city, but as a parent I can't come close to understanding their feelings," he said.
The BMW was found abandoned a few blocks away from the shooting scene, and no weapons were found.
"The terrible events are proof once again of a fundamental truth we've learned again and again -- guns, when they fall into the hands of the wrong people, have tragic consequences," Bloomberg said.
Copyright 2007 Newsday
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