By Molly Crane-Newman
Source New York Daily News
One of the NYPD cops wounded during a wild Bronx gun battle left the hospital in a wheelchair Thursday to spend Thanksgiving at home.
Officer Alejandra Jacobs was shot in the arm during the Wednesday night confrontation near E. 187th St. and Beaumont Ave. in Belmont. Less than 16 hours later, she emerged in good spirits from St. Barnabas Hospital to the sound of bagpipes from an NYPD band.
“I’m fine, thank you,” she told dozens of cheering colleagues before getting into the back of a police van.
NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison, who announced earlier in the day he is retiring at the end of the year, was among the well-wishers there to greet Jacobs as she left the hospital.
“Officer Jacobs has one year on the job. She put her life on the line to engage an individual that was carrying an illegal firearm,” Harrison said.
“Happy Thanksgiving to her family. I’m just so happy to see that she’s fine and she’s going to be able to be home and enjoy her turkey with her loved ones.”
Jacobs’ partner Robert Holmes will likely be in the hospital for several more days as he recovers from his gunshot wounds.
“He’s okay,” Harrison said. “I’m not sure exactly when he’s going to be able to walk out himself. I think his injuries are a little bit more troubling than hers.”
As for armed suspect Charlie Vasquez, who triggered the incident, Harrison said he “should get serious jail time for what he did.”
“You should not feel comfortable carrying an illegal firearm and that’s what it comes down to,” Harrison added.
Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, said the incident demonstrated that the streets have become less safe.
“There’s no respect by the perps or fear of the police by them,” he said.
“Yes, there’s always guns on the street. Yes, there have always been guns on the street. But now we have to add the fear of carrying them and using them.”
Jacobs and Holmes encountered Vasquez, 23, sitting on a building stoop and told him to take his hands out of his pockets. Vasquez pulled a gun and opened fire.
Vasquez fired four times, hitting Jacobs twice in the right arm. Jacobs returned fire, hitting Vasquez three times in the chest, according to cops. Holmes was shot in the right armpit by a bullet that came out his left chest, the NYPD says.
“What strikes you as you watch that video is the speed in which it happens and the no regard for human life,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said of the gunman at a press conference late Wednesday.
Vasquez was in serious condition after surgery. The gun he used was reported stolen from Georgia a year ago. He has nine prior arrests.
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