An NYPD detective was shot on Staten Island Thursday during a drug bust, in which the wounded officer used a ballistic shield to save both himself and his team from a suspect blasting wildly through a bedroom door, authorities told the New York Post.
The detective, identified by police sources as Dominick Libretti, suffered a potential “career-ending injury” when Nelson Pizarro, 39, allegedly fired “numerous shots” inside the building around 6 a.m., police said.
Libretti – a 10-year veteran who has “received numerous medals and commendations” and had never previously fired his weapon on the job – was the second NYPD officer shot in as many days, and the third shot since the start of the year, authorities said.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell hailed the detective as a hero at a morning press conference.
“Even with a serious leg wound, bleeding badly enough that fellow officers had to apply immediate pressure to slow the blood loss, he held a ballistic shield in front of his team to protect them from gunfire,” Commissioner Sewell said.
Libretti was taken in stable condition to Staten Island University North Hospital, where NYPD Supervising Chief Surgeon Eli Kleinman said he will undergo surgery.
“Our detective sustained a gunshot wound to the lower leg in a small compartment area that is populated by large vessels and nerves,” Kleinman said. “This is a possibly a career-ending injury and certainly a life-threatening injury. There’s no such thing as a simple gunshot wound.”
Another officer at the scene of the shooting reportedly used a towel found in the home as a tourniquet to stop Libretti's blood loss, NBC New York reports.