The shooter was described as a black man in his 20s, between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 and wearing blue jeans. He was still at large as of Wednesday morning.The officer was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, L.I., and was listed in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his lower leg. He was expected to make a full recovery."It drives home the point that we need more police officers. This is getting crazy," said Kevin Jemmott, president of the Cambria Heights Civic Organization, in a telephone interview. The area, which is covered by the 105th Precinct, has been the site of several shootings this year. "We're definitely at a fever pitch now. It's getting out of hand and someone's gotta do something," Jemmott added.Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to the media shortly after visiting the officer at the hospital and praised him as a decorated, nine-year veteran of the department. "This is a reminder why it is so important to get drugs off the streets and get guns out of the hands of criminals," he said.The officer was on scooter patrol when he observed the suspect near a baseball field near Laurelton Parkway and 121st Avenue with a "blunt," or marijuana cigarette, and possibly a handgun in his waistband, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.The officer approached him, drew his weapon and demanded the marijuana, according to Kelly, who said that at that point police believe a struggle ensued during which the man shot the officer one time. Police do not think the suspect drew a weapon, he added. The man then escaped on foot across several lanes of rush-hour traffic near the merge of the Laurelton Parkway the Cross Island Parkway , police said.Responding to a question about whether the officer's attempt to make a narcotics arrest with a gun drawn was a disproportionate use of force for a minor offense, Bloomberg noted that marijuana is illegal and he pointed out that "if you have a gun, you are breaking the law." Police think the man may have had a weapon with him but did not use it.Kelly called this a "quality-of-life" issue, saying that when an officer is out on patrol "you never know what you will encounter."Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@times
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