NEW YORK (PIX11) — An NYPD officer was shot while on patrol in the Bronx Tuesday night, police said. Officer Dennis Vargas, 32, and another officer from the 42nd Precinct were patrolling the streets around 10:45 p.m. south of Third Avenue and Claremont Parkway when the shooting took place.
Police said the officers approached a man on the sidewalk—later identified as 25-year-old Rameek Smith—who tried to run from them. They chased him on foot for about a block and a half before he allegedly fired two shots at them. Vargas was hit in the arm, but when the officers returned fire, they reportedly shot him in the head.
Smith was taken to a hospital, where he died, according to the NYPD. Vargas also was also taken to a hospital and then released. Police said Smith was known to the NYPD and had a criminal history. And according to police, a 9 mm Glock stolen in Richmond, Virginia in June 2021 was recovered at the scene.
Mayor Eric Adams joined an overnight police briefing on the shooting to talk about his administration’s ongoing battle against gun violence. “I’m focused on those who are carrying guns, particularly in this borough,” he said. “The number of shootings that we are responding to every night is despicable, but everyone is looking at the attention we’re doing to stop fare evasion—where people are carrying guns—to stop people who are discharging weapons on our street with no regard to the innocent people of this borough and of this city.”