A New York City cop is alive and well today after surviving a harrowing shootout unscathed because a bullet heading for his waist ricocheted off an ammo magazine.Gun Belt Deflection Saves NYC Police Officer During Shootout

For Officer Thomas Richards, it was a close call in the line of duty. The New York Post gave some after action report details from the NYPD’s top cop:

“It’s another miracle,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said after the wild Lower East Side fire-fight that ended with Officer Thomas Richards, 36, and his partner safely headed home — and accused gunman Luis Martinez in custody with a bullet wound to his leg.

“If it had been up an inch,” it would have been in his belly, Kelly said of the slug that tore through Richards’ leather ammo pouch and struck his metal magazine clip, bending it and spilling his extra bullets on the ground.”

Richards is not the only officer to have been shot in recent weeks. Three NYPD officers have be shot in just over a month, but fortunately in all of those incidents the officers survived. NYPD Officer Peter Figorski, however, was fatally shot this past December.

Officer Thomas Dunne, who is Richards partner, told the Post that “When [Richards] first got shot, I thought he was hurt bad. Fortunately, someone was watching over us last night.” 30-year-old Officer Dunne was holding his 5-month-old son, Jaxson, outside his Long Island home during the interview.

Richards’ family, the police department, and the City of New York are all breathing a sigh of relief that Richards is going to be just fine.

Gun Belt Deflection Saves NYC Police Officer During Shootout

9mm Taurus

The whole shooting incident started at about 2 o’clock in the morning in downtown Manhattan when Richards and his partner saw a vehicle do an abrupt U-turn when their police van came into view.

When they pulled over the suspicious vehicle, the suspect, Luis Martinez, allegedly began firing at the officers right away with a 9mm Taurus pistol. According to the officers’ account, Martinez fired three times, striking Richards in the belt area and bursting an ammunition magazine.

Then Richards returned fire at Martinez, and one of his eleven shots struck Martinez in the leg. Martinez dashed to his nearby apartment, ditched his weapon, and was later tracked down by an NYPD K-9 unit.

(h/t NY Post)