Two NYPD officers shot by Venezuelan illegal immigrant during traffic stop of scooter

 June 4, 2024

An illegal immigrant from Venezuela who was riding a scooter is accused of shooting two NYPD police officers and fleeing the area on foot when the officers tried to stop him at an intersection.

The shooting occurred at 1:40 a.m. on Monday at the intersection of 89th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The officers suspected that the immigrant, identified as 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro-Mata, was involved in a ring of robberies involving scooters and mopeds in the area.

Castro-Mata came to the officers' attention when he drove down 89th street in the wrong direction, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said.

Immigrant wounded

When he shot at the police, the officers returned fire and wounded him in the ankle. He had surgery on the ankle Monday.

The officers were treated at the hospital and released. One was shot in the leg and the other in his bulletproof vest.

Castro-Mata crossed into the U.S. at Eagle Pass, Texas, in July of 2023, news outlet PIX-11 reported.

He had been staying at a migrant shelter nearby, and had not been previously arrested.

Police recovered a gun at the scene that Castro-Mata allegedly used to shoot the officers. It was illegally obtained.

Other incidents

“We’re looking at him for several other robbery patterns in the Queens area where he does have other co-defendants,” Police Detective Joseph Kenny said during a briefing Monday morning.

One of the incidents involves Castro-Mata allegedly attacking a woman and stealing her credit card, which was later used in a smoke shop.

Castro-Mata's illegal immigration case was dismissed in May after a hearing in Chicago, according to the New York Post.

The Post reported previously that the Biden administration had dismissed at least 350,000 asylum cases and deportation orders because the illegal immigrants in question didn't have criminal records and were not deemed national security threats. That means Castro-Mata and potentially others like him are no longer being monitored by ICE, though they are still undocumented and in the country illegally.

“The Biden administration is allowing foreigners to violate our immigration laws at every possible opportunity, with no finality, no real resolution of their cases," former ICE chief of staff Jon Feere, who is now at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Post. “This is just the latest example proving that the government does not have the capacity to adequately vet large numbers of people randomly pouring across our borders.”

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