“NYPD Protects Civilians in Manhattan Church Shooting”


Joseph Romano, Staff Writer

Yesterday was an eventful day, as every day in 2020 has been so far. In Manhattan, there was a shooting outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights. The gunman, identified as Luis Manuel Vasquez Gomez, climbed the steps of this church and started firing shots into the air as musicians from the church finished playing a song. According to Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea, the contents of his backpack — a canister of gasoline, rope, knives, and a Bible — suggested a sinister plot (NYTimes). 

Thankfully our heroes of the NYPD, all of whom put their lives on the line every day, immediately responded to calls for help. Two officers who were assigned to the event tried to control the situation. Then a third, who was stationed at a local hospital, responded as well. 

Even though this man was armed, officers ran over to the people in front of the church to try and save them. Civilians were running along with traffic, lying on the ground, and trying to hide behind poles and other large objects to avoid getting injured. The police officers who responded took the correct protocol to save the innocent civilians, and thanks to their quick response, no civilian was seriously harmed. Vasquez was quickly taken down by police. Commissioner Shea praised the three officers on Monday for quickly acting to protect those gathered at the church. Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer, singled out Officer Jason Harper for his bravery (NYTimes).

In times like these, I am so thankful for the police officers, firefighters, and EMS teams who sacrifice their safety and their lives every day for us to be safe.