- Last Updated: 5:21 AM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 1:38 AM, July 7, 2012
The housing cop who escaped certain death thanks to his bulletproof vest was on the mend at home yesterday — as the thug who tried to kill him remained on the loose.
“I’m just happy to be at home with my family,” Brian Groves told The Post hours after his release from Bellevue Hospital.
Groves said he was ecstatic to once again hold his 6-month-old daughter.
“It’s like seeing her for the first time all over again,” he said with tears in his eyes.
Police yesterday were still searching for the gunman who fired a round in Groves’ chest in a Lower East Side housing project stairwell, but could only rely on a sketch because the building had no cameras.
Officials said that 64-66 Essex St. isn’t slated to get surveillance cameras until next year, part of a $42 million project to install video in some of the city’s public housing.
“[Cameras are] hugely important . . . they’re a critical part of the investigation,” a law-enforcement source said.
“A lot of times, they show the actual crime and the perpetrator fleeing the area. That’s very important, because the suspect can’t say in court that he wasn’t there. The camera doesn’t lie.”
New York City Housing Authority released a statement saying, “We anticipate installation work at Seward Park Extension to begin next year.”
Cops put out a sketch of a black man in his 20s with long cornrows that were tied off in beads. The image came from Groves’ own description.
Groves, a seven-year veteran and father of two, was doing a dangerous vertical patrol of the building before the shooting.
He and his partner split up and went down separate stairwells, starting from the building’s 23rd floor.
On the 22nd floor, Groves encountered a man with a gun and gave chase. At about the 18th floor the man shot Groves at near point blank range in the chest.
The slug hit Grove’s hard, but his vest protected him. He continued chasing the perpetrator for four more floors before collapsing.