Gunman who shot 2 NYPD cops revealed to be a migrant who recently crossed into the US

Monday, June 3, 2024 - A 19-year-old Venezuelan migrant shot two police officers early Monday, June 3, when they tried to stop him as he was riding a motorized scooter, according to police.

The officers had tried to pull over the teen, identified as Bernardo Castro Mata, after spotting him driving the wrong way down a street at 89th Street and 23rd Avenue in Elmhurst at about 1:40 a.m., police said.

The suspect quickly ditched the moped and fled on foot for several blocks, according to cops.

During the pursuit, the teen allegedly pulled out an illegal gun and fired multiple rounds at the officers.

One of the officers took a bullet to the leg while the other was struck in the front of his bulletproof vest.

At least one of the officers returned fire and struck the suspect in the ankle.

The teen has no criminal history in New York, but is a suspect in several "snatch and grab" robbery investigations in Queens — including one in which a woman was allegedly attacked and had her credit cards stolen, police said.

He has been living at the migrant shelter in the former Courtyard Marriott Hotel near LaGuardia Airport, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long he’d been in the USA, but law enforcement sources told The Post he entered the US via Eagle Pass, Texas, at some point last year.

He was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens to undergo surgery.

The two injured cops were in "good spirits" and both were in stable condition after being treated at Elmhurst General Hospital, Caban said.

"This could have gone a very different way," the police commish told an early morning press conference.

Showing off the bullet hole in one of the officer’s vests, Mayor Eric Adams praised the two cops.

"Because of this vest, a young police officer is going home," he said.

"A senseless act of violence. Total disregard for life," Mayor Adams added as he addressed the incident.

"Our officers responded with a level of discipline, a level of focus, a level of professionalism. Today we thank God."

The officers were both assigned to the 115th Precinct’s public safety unit. One has been on the job for five years, while his partner joined the NYPD ranks two and a half years ago. 

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