First Responders

Plainclothed NYPD Officer Shot in the Bronx

January 27, 2021Joshua Skovlund
NYPD officer shot in the Bronx

The crime scene where NYPD officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect. Screen grab from YouTube.

New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that an officer from the gun violence suppression unit is hospitalized after getting shot near Lafayette Avenue and White Plains Road in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

ABC7 Eyewitness News reported that Officer Daniel Vargas and three of his fellow officers in plainclothes were driving in an unmarked car when they saw a 24-year-old male known to them and initiated a stop. According to ABC7, officers wanted to speak with the male, identified as Ajani Jones, about a shooting involving his brother. 

Shea said during a Wednesday press conference that within seconds of the officers making contact with the suspect, a gunfight ensued, but he did not clarify who shot first. 

“In the course of seconds, what we know is that our officer we believe fired one round,” Shea said. “We believe the perpetrator fired four rounds.” 

Vargas, a 31-year-old officer with six and half years at the NYPD, was hit below his ballistic vest in the lower back and is in stable condition. Shea said that the officer “is in a lot of pain,” but they are expecting him to make a full recovery.

Shea said the male suspect has several arrests in New York City and a criminal record in New Jersey.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

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