By Matt Spillane, lohud
Police are trying to piece together how a shootout that one resident compared to the “wild, Wild West” erupted on a quiet Yonkers street and left one officer shot in the jaw on Monday night.
Yonkers officials said police second-year Officer Kayla Maher, 26, is recovering after she was shot as she approached a suspicious car in the Park Hill section.
She is in serious but stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
“She’s a wonderful police officer,” Mayor Mike Spano said today.
“Heroic in what she did. Gutsy as we would expect her to be.”
As many as five officers exchanged fire with the two suspects, both of whom are New Rochelle residents, Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said.
(The police officer was identified Tuesday as Kayla Maher, 26, a two-year veteran of the Yonkers Police Department and daughter of a retired New York City police sergeant. Courtesy of CBS New York and YouTube)
A Glock model 23 .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered at scene.
Gardner has not yet released the identities of the men, one of whom was shot, as police discuss potential charges with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
He said they anticipate charges of first-degree attempted murder.
It had been more than 30 years since a Yonkers police officer had been shot and a couple of years since a Yonkers officer had shot someone, Spano said today during a news conference at City Hall.
The NYPD, FBI, ATF, state police and Westchester County police all responded to the scene, he said.
(A police officer in Yonkers was shot in the jaw while investigating reports of a suspicious vehicle with her partner Monday evening. Courtesy of CBS New York and YouTube)
Spano said he and Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner visited Maher in the hospital overnight and that “she is remarkably in good spirits.”
Gardner said she will likely be in the hospital for a few more days but is expected to make a full recovery.
Maher, a Yonkers resident, graduated from Yonkers’ Lincoln High School in 2009 and joined the department in 2015. Her mother is a retired NYPD sergeant, the mayor said.
The incident started around 8 p.m. when a resident reported a suspicious car parked near the corner of Marshall Road and Ridge Drive.
Gardner said that police do not know what the two men were doing there, but that the shooter had criminal charges pending.
“We don’t know what he was thinking at the time,” Gardner said of the shooter.
“He suddenly opened fire without any warning at point-blank range.”
Gardner said Maher and her partner responded to the scene at 8:02 p.m. and approached the car.
At least one of the suspects, with a Glock handgun, then shot at the officers, hitting Maher, he said.
(YPD Officers Shot Press Conference. Courtesy of Yonkers Voice and YouTube)
Backup quickly arrived and officers exchanged fire with the suspects, Gardner said. He said one of the officers was able to pull Maher safely away from the scene.
“Our officers at the scene acted heroically, and I’m very proud of them and the work that they did here,” Gardner said.
Gardner said one of the men was shot and later underwent surgery at a local hospital.
That suspect is in serious but stable condition, police said.
The second man in the car was arrested.
Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.
Luis Perez, who lives on Ridge Street close to the scene, said the shootout sounded like 35-40 shots in about 10 minutes.
“A lot of shooting,” he said, comparing it to the “wild, Wild West.”
He said he was returning home and walking inside when he heard the first shots, which he thought were fireworks. Then he and his wife heard more shots.
“That’s when I said, something is not right here,” he said.
Perez said he walked outside to check it out and saw cops rushing up to the scene, including one who grabbed a shotgun from the trunk of his police car.
“Cops told me, ‘Get back, get back,'” he said.
Perez said he’s lived in the area more than 20 years and never saw something like this here.
“This is a very nice neighborhood,” he said.
Police said drivers should avoid the area today because the investigation is ongoing and has closed some roads in the neighborhood.
Police said Marshall Road is closed, as well as Ridge Road between Marshall Road and Wendover Road, Ridge Drive between Marshall Road and Madeline Parkway, Birch Road between Marshall Road and Wendover Road, and Madeline Parkway between Marshall Road and Latin Drive.
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer as she recovers.