A former New York Police Department officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to drunkenly firing 14 shots at a car, striking a victim six times.
Brendan Cronin, 28, faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder, assault and drunken driving in the April 29, 2014, shooting in Westchester County, New York.
Prosecutors said Cronin randomly opened fire at the vehicle, occupied by Joseph Felice and Robert Borrelli. The pair was on the way home from a hockey game that night and were stopped at a red light in Pelham when Cronin started firing at them.
Felice was hit six times in the back, shoulder, arm and chest, and narrowly escaped death. The bullets missed Borrelli, who drove his friend to the hospital.
Cronin had spent the day at an NYPD firing range, and then drank 10 servings of beer and a whiskey before the shooting.
“I came from a bar near the range,” he told investigators, according to a police report obtained by the New York Daily News. He was arrested and immediately suspended by the NYPD.
He would have faced 25 years in prison but took a plea deal Tuesday, knowing that he’ll likely spend nine years behind bars when he’s sentenced later this year.
Felice and Borrelli have filed lawsuits against Cronin, New York City, the NYPD and the officers Cronin was drinking with.
Randolph McLaughlin, an attorney representing Felice and Borrelli, said they are relieved by Cronin’s guilty plea and “look forward to the truth coming out in the course of the civil case.”
Cronin was one of three NYPD officers who got drunk and fired their weapons at people in the same week last year.
The Huffington Post’s Christopher Mathias reported:
Three hours after the shooting in Pelham, another off-duty NYPD officer allegedly opened fire at her boyfriend and another woman outside a Somerset, New Jersey strip club. No one was injured. Sgt. Wanda Anthony allegedly fled the scene and was arrested three hours later for drunk driving.
A third off-duty NYPD cop, Det. Jay Poggi, accidentally shot his partner in the wrist after a night of drinking in the Rockaways. The two officers had each reportedly downed 11 drinks.
The three booze-fueled shootings prompted NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to announce in a statement that he is “personally … very disturbed about a number of incidents in recent weeks that are part of a long-term problem of inappropriate use of alcohol by members of the department.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.