07/25/2007

N.Y. police officer shot twice responding to domestic dispute

By Jennifer Lee
The New York Times

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — A 22-year-old police officer in Middletown, N.Y., was shot twice while responding to a domestic dispute yesterday afternoon and was in critical but stable condition last night, the police said.

The officer, Christopher Dolan, was one of three officers who arrived at the home of Raymond Zayas, 24, and his companion, Kelly Lopez, about 4:30 p.m. while responding to a 911 call.

When the officers pulled up to the home on Wawayanda Avenue in Middletown, Mr. Zayas, who is on probation for an assault charge, fired several shots through the door with a semi-automatic gun that he did not legally own, the police said.

Mr. Dolan was hit twice. One bullet went through his hand and lodged in his upper arm; the second entered through his leg and lodged in his torso, the police said.

He was dragged to safety by another officer and taken to Horton Medical Center in Middletown, where he was in the intensive care unit last night, the police said.

After the shooting, Ms. Lopez ran outside, but Mr. Zayas remained in the house and held his 1-year-old son hostage, the police said. He surrendered after about 20 minutes, and the boy was not hurt, the police said.

Mr. Zayas was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder.

He was arraigned last night. Mr. Zayas was serving five years of probation for a second-degree assault conviction, the police said.

Neighbors said they had not noticed any disputes between Mr. Zayas and Ms. Lopez, who had lived at the house for several months.

A neighbor who lives two doors down and who witnessed the shooting said he saw Ms. Lopez come “screaming across the yard.”

“She collapsed in front of my house,” said the neighbor, who asked to be identified only as Brian. “She was distraught.”

Mr. Dolan graduated from Middletown’s police academy in February and finished his field training two weeks ago, the police said.

Copyright The New York Times 2007

 

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