NEW YORK (Combined Sources) — An NYPD officer who was shot in the armpit during a gunfight in Washington Heights left the hospital Friday morning to a standing ovation from fellow officers.
With his wife by his side, Police Officer Justin Vartanian walked out of Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s Hospital, humbly smiling at scores of cops who lined the streets to cheer him on.
As the NYPD Pipes and Drums band played outside the Upper West Side hospital, Vartanian, sporting an NYPD jacket over a New York Mets shirt and a baseball cap, walked to an awaiting unmarked patrol car that took him to his home in Suffolk County, Long Island.
Vartanian, an anti-crime cop at the 34th Precinct, was struck in the right armpit during a clash at a parking lot on W. 187th St. and Wadsworth Ave.
According to Police Commissioner James O’Neill, when he and his partner arrived at the scene, the suspect fled with a firearm in his hand to a parking lot on Broadway, where the gunfight ensued.
The suspect fired shots at both Vartanian and his partner. Vartanian was shot in the armpit while the perpetrator was stuck one time in the chest.
Vartanian was transported to Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital, which he left late Friday morning to a loud ovation and applause from his fellow police officers.
The suspect was pronounced dead at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Thursday evening.