The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced Officers Paul Lee and Antonio Martinez of the New York (NY) Police Department as the Officers of the Month for January 2023. Both men were selected for their bravery and heroism following Officer Lee being shot while attempting to stop two suspicious persons.
Early on the morning of January 17, 2023, Officers Lee and Martinez, members of the 48th Precinct’s Public Safety Team, were on routine patrol. The unit to which they were assigned focuses on deterring and apprehending violent criminals in high crime areas. As they were patrolling near East 183rd Street, they noticed two suspicious persons walking with dark ski masks covering their faces. The officers drove toward the two suspects intending to stop them when one of the suspects turned without warning and opened fire. The gunman fired multiple times, striking the patrol car and hitting Officer Lee in his shoulder. Both the gunman and the other suspect then ran away.
Despite being struck, Officer Lee immediately began to chase after the suspects. Recognizing the potentially life-threatening wound to Officer Lee, Officer Martinez stopped their pursuit and then rushed his fellow officer to a nearby hospital. Additional patrol units in the area were able to find and arrest one of the two suspects, an armed 16-year-old boy. Investigators continue to work to identify the remaining suspect.
Thankfully, in part because of Officer Martinez’s quick thinking and assistance, Officer Lee is expected to make a full recovery. This incident highlights how dangerous it is for law enforcement officers as they seek to detect and deter the violent criminals on our streets.
“The incredible heroism displayed by both officers showcases the bravery and professionalism of those in law enforcement and allows a glimpse of how quickly our police officers must react when confronted with armed and violent criminals,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “We are proud to honor Officer Lee and Officer Martinez as our Officers of the Month for January 2023.”