A Suffolk County Police officer was shot in the thigh by a robbery suspect he and other officers were pursuing in Coram on Thursday, according to Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
The officer, whose name had not yet been revealed late Thursday afternoon, was shot on Homestead Drive at about 12:50 p.m. Fellow officers applied tourniquets to the wound, and the officer was then taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of injuries. He is currently in stable condition and awaiting surgery.
“I got a call today that you never want to get in this position, and it’s the call that one of our officers had been shot in the line of duty,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said during a news briefing about the incident outside the hospital. He added that the officer “was in good spirits” given the circumstances and that he’s “confident he’s going to be OK.”
According to Harrison, officers assigned to Suffolk’s 6th precinct were conducting surveillance on North Fleet Lane on Thursday when their targeted robbery suspect, 20-year-old Janell Funderburke, left the residence and began running eastbound, then southbound on Homestead Drive.
The officer, a six-year veteran of the department assigned to the Sixth Precinct Anti-Crime Unit who was in plainclothes, identified himself and pursued Funderburke on foot, according to police. Funderburke, who police say is a Bloods gang member, then fired two rounds at the officer, striking the officer in the thigh.
While some officers stopped to assist the shot officer, others pursued Funderburke. He was arrested outside 98 Homestead Dr. without incident. He is charged with robbery and attempted murder. He had one previous arrest for possession of a weapon from August 2022, Harrison said.
The wounded officer is a 6-year veteran who is engaged to be married with a 17-month-old daughter, the police commissioner added.
“This is just a reminder of how dangerous it is to be a police officer,” Harrison said.
Funderburke is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip. Attorney information was not immediately available.
“This was a progressively dangerous criminal with a history of drug, firearm and armed assault arrests who was on the run and had no hesitation to shoot a police officer if it meant evading capture,” said Suffolk County PBA President Noel DiGerolamo. “This is yet another reminder of the risks police officers face every day and the urgency for laws and support that would enable us to best protect the public.”