Illegal Immigrant from Venezuela Shoots Two NYPD Officers

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Illegal Immigrant from Venezuela Shoots Two NYPD Officers

An illegal immigrant from Venezuela shot two New York City police officers that were chasing him early Monday morning. The police were investigating a string of robberies involving perpetrators on scooters. The officers returned fire, shooting the suspect in the ankle.

The incident occurred before 1:45 a.m. in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens at the intersection of 89th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The officers were trying to pull over the male suspect who was driving a motorized scooter in the wrong direction down a one-way street. The suspect dismounted and began to run from the officers. It was during this chase that he took shots at the officers: one was shot in the stomach, the other was shot in the leg. The former was wearing a bullet-proof vest. The officers were hospitalized and are in stable condition; authorities say they will recover. One had been on the force for five years, the other two.

This is what we’re fighting every day,” Mayor Eric Adams said, calling the attack a “senseless act of violence” and a “total disregard for life.” Adams pointed out that “every day New Yorkers” do not wear bullet proof vests, holding up the damaged vest of the injured officer.

“The one police officer, shot in the vest, was more concerned about his partner, saving his life, getting a tourniquet,” Police Benevolent Association Patrick Hendry said during the press conference. “That’s what partners do in the NYPD; they save each other’s lives.”

The suspect, shot in the right ankle, was hospitalized as well. Authorities say the firearm he had was obtained illegally. He has been identified as 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro Matta of Venezuela; law enforcement believe he entered the US illegally through Eagle Pass, Texas.

Matta was living at a former Courtyard Marriott hotel in Queens which had been transformed into a migrant shelter. He is connected to multiple robberies throughout the borough.

According to law enforcement, motorized scooters and motorbikes are often utilized by criminals throughout the city to commit crimes, such as shootings and robberies. They report that such crimes have risen sharply over the last three years. Reports also indicate that Washington, DC has been flooded with unregistered motorbikes used by illegal immigrants.

The first six months of calendar year 2022 saw no robberies involving scooters, while the first six months of 2023 saw an increase to 20. Authorities say the first six months of 2024 saw over 80.

On Thursday, May 30th, another illegal immigrant from Venezuela became wanted for allegedly shooting and killing two people outside a Bronx apartment building in Fordham Heights. Josue Ruben Silva, 21, has been arrested six times on robbery, theft, and gun charges.