A New York City Police officer from Patchogue is alive today thanks to his bulletproof vest.
Brian Groves of Patchogue survived a shooting early Thursday morning on the Lower East Side of Manhattan after reports of criminal activity in a public housing stairwell, said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference held at Bellevue Hospital.
Bloomberg said Groves and his partner encountered a man in the stairwell and saw he had a gun. When the suspect fled the two officers pursued him.
The Mayor said the suspect turned and shot Groves once. Groves returned fire but it is unknown if the suspect was hit. The suspect remains at large.
Groves survived the shooting because of his bulletproof vest, said police commissioner Ray Kelly. Groves is recovering at the Bellevue Hospital.
“I think it’s fair to say only pure luck and our prayers prevented this situation from becoming a tragedy, as the bullet struck Officer Groves’ bullet-resistant vest, which kept him alive and will allow him to see his little girls again," Bloomberg said.
According to the Mayor, Groves and his wife, Nicole, have two young children, with the youngest just two weeks old.