Charlie Vasquez, 23, was arrested within the confines of the 48th Precinct, a New York Police Department spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News Digital. He is charged with two counts each of attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon: loaded firearm, reckless endangerment, and menacing, following an incident that was caught on video. Police described him as a “career criminal.”
Vasquez was wounded in the shootout that he allegedly initiated last Wednesday and had undergone surgery.
Officers Alejandra Jacobs and Robert Holmes were both wounded but are expected to make a full recovery, police said. Jacobs, a military veteran and U.S. Air Force Reserves member who had been with the NYPD for one year, was shot twice in the right arm and released from St. Barnabas Hospital on Thursday – greeted by cheering colleagues as she was wheeled outside.
Holmes, an eight-year veteran of the police department, was released Friday. Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea showed the bullet hole in Holmes’ bloodied duty shirt, explaining that the male officer was shot in his right armpit area and the bullet exited out his left chest “within inches of a much different outcome.”
“What we know about the individual is that he is a career criminal with far too many arrests still on the streets of New York City as we’ve seen far too many times,” Shea said. “It would appear to me at this point that the community is doing their job by calling the police. We have two incredibly brave police officers doing their job – and not complaining a bit right now as they’re laying recovering in a hospital bed eager to get back to work and loving what they do serving the people of New York City. It’s time for the rest of the system to do its job and make the streets as safe as they can be.”
Surveillance video showed the two officers approach the suspect at approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Bronx.
Shea said a member of the community dialed 911 to report an individual with a gun. Officers responded and approached the individual matching the caller’s description sitting on the steps of the building. In the video, one can be seen opening the gate and giving verbal instructions for the man to take his hands out of his pockets.
The suspect instead immediately took his gun out and started firing, Shea said.
Video shows the male officer struggling with the individual, wrestling him to ground. After the female officer is struck in the upper right arm, she returns fire. Investigators believe she fired five times. Police released a photo of the loaded firearm recovered from the scene, which Shea said was reported stolen in Georgia last year and somehow reached New York City to cause “carnage on the streets.”
Charlie Vasquez allegedly used a firearm which had been reported stolen in Georgia to carry out the shooting in the Bronx on Thanksgiving Eve.
“There is no fear on the streets right now,” Shea said. “We can take guns off the streets and fill up truck loads. Until we start putting some of these individuals in jail, we are going to have a tragedy.”
New York City Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch and Mayor Bill de Blasio also addressed the media at the press conference Wednesday. The shooting resembled another where two officers were injured a year ago on New Year’s Eve in the 105th precinct.
“We’ve started a holiday tradition. Unfortunately, the holiday tradition is spending a holiday in an emergency room next to the bed of a police officer that was shot again,” Lynch said. “Yes, there are guns on the streets but perps aren’t afraid to carry them. They’re not afraid to put it on their belt, put it in their pocket and pull it out on a police officer. That’s the problem.”
“We have to correct the political mistakes that were made in the past so we stop losing police officers and we stop spending the holidays praying for their recovery,” the union leader added.