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NYPD officer hit by gunfire during battle in the Bronx

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NEW YORK — A police officer was shot and wounded during a gunfire battle in the southern Bronx on Saturday.

Sherrod Stuart, an anti-crime unit officer from the 40th precinct, was on plainclothes patrol with his partner when they received complaints of a large fight in the streets around 137th Street and 3rd Avenue. The crowd was reportedly armed with bats, knives and firearms.

As they arrived at the scene, Stuart encountered a male individual and pursued him for a distance. As backups arrived, the suspect turned, revealing a handgun, and opened fire at the officers.

Stuart was nearly hit by the array of flying metal several times until eventually one struck his right foot. Upon this, he immediately returned gunfire and hit the suspect four times, taking him down.

Both the injured officer and suspect were transported to Lincoln Hospital. Stuart is in stable condition while the man who began the gunfire exchange remains in serious condition.

Police identified the suspected shooter as Christopher Rice, 19, of Staten Island. He is well-known by police for his five prior arrests, including one the previous day for a cab fare beating. He was released from custody around 11pm Friday, just three hours before the shooting.

Five additional victims were stabbed during the initial brawl and taken to local hospitals for treatment.

The investigation is still in the early stages, according to NYPD officials. It is unclear if there will be more charges.

This incident is the latest in a series of violent shooting committed towards law enforcement recently. In less than two days, three officers total have been shot during on-the-job encounters.

In Boston, a cop was shot in the leg while apprehending a suspected drug dealer Friday morning. Prior to that, an officer in Philadelphia was struck three times in the arm during an attempted ambush by an armed ISIS sympathizer Thursday night.

You can read more about those shootings here on FOX61.com: