THE BRONX - An NYPD officer who was shot while responding to a fight in Mott Haven is recovering and expected to be OK.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Officer Sherrod Stuart, 25, was shot in the ankle while responding to a fight involving more than 100 people just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
"We have since determined it was a very large jump-up party with anywhere from 100 to 200 people at that location where evidently a significant fight broke out and then spilled into the street,” said Bratton.
Bratton says Stuart was assigned to the plainclothes anti-crime patrol with his partner when they responded to numerous 911 calls reporting a large fight. The melee involved guns, bats and knives on the streets outside the Mitchell Houses.
As backup units arrived, the officers engaged in a gun fight, during which Officer Stuart was struck. He returned fire and struck the male suspect four times.
The NYPD released a photo of a smiling Stuart giving two thumbs up from his hospital bed, with Commissioner Bratton at his bedside.
Police say the shooting suspect is 19-year-old Christopher Rice. Authorities say Officer Stuart shot Rice four times after being hit. Rice was taken to Lincoln Hospital in serious condition.
Police say Rice has a criminal history with five prior arrests. They say Rice's latest arrest was Friday and he was released from court at 11 p.m., just three hours before the shooting.
Several other people who were involved in the brawl have been hospitalized as well, News 12 is told. Police say they recovered several guns and knives from the scene.