It happened about two years ago on Columbia Street. Thomas Richards, a police officer, was shot during a confrontation with a suspect on Columbia Street. He survived thanks to a bullet proof vest. This week the suspect, Luis Martinez, went on trial on attempted murder charges.
In testimony earlier today, Richards said the impact of the bullet that hit him felt like a sledgehammer. From WNBC’s account inside the courtroom:
Richards said he approached Martinez on a Lower East Side street in February 2012 to ask what he was doing. The officer said Martinez pulled a gun and fired. The detective says he shot back, and Martinez ran. Richards said he didn’t realize he wasn’t wounded until he saw a dent in a spare ammunition magazine hanging on his belt.
According to WCBS, defense attorney Matthew Myers said Martinez did not know the people approaching him were police officers and he claimed they fired first. Richards and fellow officer Thomas Dunne were near the Baruch Houses February 26 of 2012 when they spotted Martinez. After he fired, there was a chase through the streets of the LES.