NEW YORK — An officer with the New York Police Department is fighting for his life Tuesday after being dragged on the ground for nearly three Brooklyn blocks by a reportedly stolen car, according to CW39-affiliate Pix11.
The shocking hospitalization of Officer Dalsh Veve is hitting his neighbors hard. Residents described the father of a 2-year-old girl and 9-year police force veteran as the best neighbor in the North Baldwin area.
"He’s always around to help you," neighbor Jim Gover said. "That’s the nature of who he is."
Veve was one of six plainclothes officers who responded to a series of 911 calls just before midnight in Brooklyn after reports of shots fired near the intersection of East 53rd and Tilden Avenue.
Responding officers stumbled across a party and determined the alleged "gunshots" were the sound of fireworks, NYPD Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.
Police said Veve went across the street to talk to people sitting inside a black Honda sedan parked in front of a fire hydrant. Officers said the car sped off, hitting the officer and dragging him down Tilden Avenue. The officer fired two shots as he was dragged by the car for two and a half blocks.
The police department said the sedan crashed, and the people inside abandoned the car on E. 53rd Street, between Snyder Street and Church Avenue. Investigators later learned the car had been reported stolen from Long Island.
Veve was rushed to Kings County Hospital in critical condition.
Investigators said a 15-year-old boy, who is connected to the incident, was admitted into the Brookdale Hospital with a gunshot wound to the face moments later. Police said the teen is also in serious condition.
The suspect was described as having an extensive criminal history, and had been arrested on May 16 on grand larceny charges. The teen also has a prior arrest after being accused of menacing with a gun.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the injured officer's family at Kings County Hospital overnight.
"This is a young man who has had an exemplary career as an NYPD officer— one of the most commended and decorated members of his precinct," De Blasio said Sunday.
The officer's neighbors described Veve as a man with a great sense of civic duty. During snowstorms, neighbors said Veve would help clear the street. He even took time out on Mother's Day to deliver a gift to neighbor Martha Forrisi.
I see him carrying this huge hanging plant," Forrisi said. "I said ‘oh wow, what a nice hanging plant.’ And then he comes walking up my sidewalk. And I was like ‘oh my god, he’s coming to me.’"
Police Commissioner James O'Neill described Veve as a remarkable man and police officer.