NEW YORK (AP) — Two police officers were critically wounded early yesterday when a man with a history of psychiatric problems shot them outside a church where he had been firing at a statue of the Virgin Mary, authorities said.
Officers Dominic Romano, 29, and David Harris, 40, had responded to a 911 call just after 2 a.m. When they got out of their car, the man charged from behind and fired repeatedly, said Officer Jennara Everleth, a police department spokeswoman.
The officers returned fire, wounding Kevin Davey, 25, who has a sealed arrest record and a history of psychiatric problems, police said.
Officer Romano was shot in the head and at least seven times in the back, although his armored vest absorbed the shots to his back, officers said. Officer Harris was shot five times in his right leg and also was wounded in his left arm.
Both officers were listed in critical but stable condition.
Mr. Davey was shot in the arm, shoulder, ankle and side and was listed in stable condition, Officer Everleth said.
Witnesses said Mr. Davey had been listening to music on a portable stereo in front of the church when he began smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary with a spear. He left, then returned with a shotgun and fired at the statue, decapitating it, police said.