Good news from the police: The officer who was shot yesterday in the Brooklyn neighborhood and taken to the hospital in critical condition has been upgraded to "serious" and is expected to make a full recovery.
The suspect in the shooting, 61-year-old Ralph Clyde Turner, will be arraigned today in court and a grand jury should begin hearing testimony in the case. Turner has no previous criminal record, just some traffic citations. Neighbors described Turner as a "nice guy with recent health problems."
UPDATE— Court files reveal a bit more about Turner's life. He and his wife divorced in 1984 and he won custody of their four-year-old child at the time. But six years later, the wife apparently won back custody, complaining to the court that Turner had a drug problem and exposed their kid to needles and other paraphernalia related to heroin use. Turner, in response, accused his wife of drinking and using drugs.
UPDATE 12:35— Denis C. Theriault reports from the scene that a next-door neighbor named Red Swanson said that Turner has lived on the block for four years and that he and his girlfriend had been fighting off and on. "He drank too much and did too many drugs," says Swanson, who adds that Turner liked to go deer hunting, which could explain how he was able to shoot an officer across the park (and through a playground) from his house.
Turner's live-in girlfriend was not home at the time of the shooting but was back in the duplex, which had bullet holes around its first-story garage, today. She declined to discuss Turner or the crisis, saying everything was still "too raw."