Officer Ricardo Ramirez
Officer Ricardo Ramirez
Photo credit: New York Police Department
An NYPD cop dramatically recounted on the stand Tuesday how he feared he was going to die after being shot by a teenage thug during a wild gun battle inside a Brooklyn apartment building.
In a Brooklyn courtroom packed full of fellow cops, Officer Ricardo Ramirez testified that he was chasing Elijah Foster-Bey, then 17, up a stairwell in October 2010 when the teen ran up to a locked door, then “suddenly turned and pointed his gun at me.”
“After that, all I heard were loud bangs. Both of our guns discharged and that’s when my ears started ringing. I felt tremendous, unbearable pain,” Ramirez said.
“I started panicking. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die here.’”
Speaking softly and struggling visibly with his emotions, Ramirez said he was struck by three bullets, two of which tore into his upper right leg and severed his femoral artery, and another that hit his protective vest.
“I started hopping on one foot, looking for cover behind anything I could find,” Ramirez recalled in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“At some point, my right leg gave out on me and I stumbled down the staircase. I started screaming to my partner to get me out of the building. I was fading in and out.”
Ramirez credited his quick-thinking partner, Brian McIvor, with saving his life by applying a makeshift tourniquet that kept him from bleeding to death inside the East New York tenement.
Foster-Bey, who was also wounded in the exchange of gunfire, sat stone-faced throughout the moving account, including when Ramirez pointed him out to the jury.
Ramirez said that he, McIvor and Radek Terepka were on a plainclothes anti-crime patrol, sitting in an unmarked car, when Foster-Bey bicycled by, going the wrong way on a one-way street.
After Foster-Bey rode up on the sidewalk -- which Ramirez called a “summons-able offense” -- Ramirez said he called out and identified himself as a cop, at which point Foster-Bey “ditched his bike and started running,” leading the three cops to give chase.
Since the shooting, Ramirez said he’s had “14 procedures done on my leg.”
“My leg will never be what it used to be,” he said.
“I’ll never be able to do the simple things like play and chase around my son. I can’t run. I’m in pain constantly.”
During opening statements, assistant district attorney Lewis Lieberman portrayed Foster-Bey as someone who made “all the wrong choices” and intended to kill Ramirez, using his fingers to mime pistols that he waved in the air to illustrate his points.
Defense lawyer James Koenig tried to counter the animated presentation by telling jurors that “the prosecution is playing producer and just showed you his coming attractions, but you should just wait until you see the whole movie.”
Republished with permission of The New York Post