Three of the four police officers shot and wounded during a gun battle inside a Nostrand Avenue apartment building in April will receive promotions today.
Detectives Kenneth Ayala and Michael Keenan and Officer Michael Granahan will receive the distinction at a ceremony at 1 Police Plaza, honored for their role in taking down a violent ex-con who held his pregnant girlfriend and 4-month-old son hostage in his barricaded apartment at 3301 Nostrand Avenue.
Ayala has been hailed as a hero for having helped save the lives of his fellow peacekeepers by protecting them with a bulletproof shield even after taking two shots to the leg.
All three officers are members of the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit. Their team was called to the scene after ex-con Nakon Foxworth got into an early morning argument in front of his building on Sunday, April 8, in which Foxworth brandished a firearm. Previously convicted of attempted murder and selling drugs behind bars, Foxworth retreated to his apartment with his girlfriend and son, and held them hostage.
As the girlfriend and child made a hasty escape, the officers stormed the apartment – but were welcomed by a hail of bullets. Foxworth, brandishing an illegal 9mm Browning semi-automatic handgun, fired off 12 shots, which hit four of the officers from within a range of 10 feet according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. All of the officers recovered with non-life-threatening injuries, with three shot in various parts of their legs, and one of the officers grazed by a bullet in the face.
Foxworth was shot once in the torso, and went to the hospital in critical condition.
Foxworth was charged with:
- seven counts of attempted murder in the first degree
- attempted aggravated murder
- attempted murder in the second degree
- attempted assault in the first degree
- attempted assault in the second degree
- attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer
- assault in the first degree
- assault in the second degree
- criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree
- criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree
- menacing in the second degree
- unlawful imprisonment in the first degree
- endangering the welfare of a child
If convicted, Foxworth faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life. He was previously released from prison in 2010 after a 10-year stint for attempted murder and selling drugs behind bars.