On Wednesday, December 28, two Suffolk County Police Officers were stabbed at Blue Ridge Condominiums on Birchwood Road in Medford. The officers were responding to a 9-1-1 call about a man threatening residents with a fire extinguisher.
Officer Raymond Stock and Officer Brendon Gallagher responded to the call and approached Enrique Lopez who pulled out a large knife. When ordered to drop his weapon, Lopez lunged towards the officers and stabbed them.
“He stabbed one of our officers in the clavicle that went into his neck. He also stabbed him in the left part of his groin. He then also stabbed a second officer in his chest that went through his vest and hit a rib,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
One of the officers fatally shot 56-year-old Lopez, who was out on parole for assaulting a Suffolk County Police Officer in 2011. He served two years in prison.
“Tonight we pray for the two Suffolk County Police Officers stabbed tonight doing their jobs to keep us safe,” Assemblyman Doug Smith, of Holbrook, wrote on Facebook the night of the incident. “Every single day our police put on the uniform and kiss their loved ones as they leave home not knowing what they will encounter. We are grateful to them and to their families and we join tonight sending prayers for their full recovery.”
Although unclear who shot Lopez, both officers, both Army Veterans who served in Afghanistan, were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital. Their wounds were not life-threatening, one officer was placed on a ventilator, but both remained in stable condition.
A third officer involved was treated for minor injuries and released that night.
“By the grace of God, these officers will be going home to their loved ones,” said Harrison. Meanwhile, a Stony Brook Professor, Anna Hayward, has been making headlines for her rather callous remarks regarding the situation.
Professor Hayward, who is popularly known for her anti-police rhetoric, posted a response on Stony Brook Medicine’s Instagram page stating – “This was a wellness check – why didn’t they de-escalate the situation? Why did a man have to die? What about the man they murdered?” she posted under the name “hayanna72.”
While her comments were removed, screenshots had already been taken. A skim-through Hayward’s Twitter account holds an array of anti-law enforcement posts, including brazen calls to “defund the police.”
Hayward has not returned any request for comment. However, Stony Brook University released a statement on Monday night that read:
“We appreciate the members of law enforcement who work to keep our community safe and we are proud of our doctors at Stony Brook Medicine for the quality medical care they provided the injured officers; we wish them a speedy recovery. The comments made online were from what appears to be a faculty member’s private account that is not affiliated with Stony Brook University.”
Fund The First, a foundation created to aid first responders who were injured in the line of duty, has set up a site to support these officers while they recover. If you are looking to donate to the cause you may do so by visiting fundthefirst.com/campaign/stock-and-gallagher-collection-rl9ckb.