A plainclothes police officer was shot in the cheek tonight in Queens. The cop, who works in the anti-crime division, had apparently approached a man on the street and "pursued him into a backyard" before being shot at at 104th Avenue and 212th Street at 6:15 p.m.

According to the Post, the officer and a sergeant were in a car "when they saw a man on the street fiddling with his waistband at about 6:10 p.m., a police source said.. When the officer left his vehicle and approached on foot, the suspect drew his gun and fired at least three shots.The officer was struck twice in his head."

The officer, who joined the department in 2010, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital. He is in critical but stable condition. The NY Times described his injury: "The officer appeared to have been shot in the left cheek and the bullet went out the right side of his head, toward the back of the head, the official said. The wound, then, could be what is known as an 'in-and-out,' the official said, meaning it might have missed critical organs. He did not appear likely to die, the official said."

The suspect is in custody, the Daily News reports: "'He shot him, but we got him,' said a detective on the scene. 'We have the shooter.'" The News identified him as Demetrius Blackwell, and a police source told the Times that the suspect was "someone unaffiliated with gangs but with a history of arrests whom the officers may have known from previous encounters."

In December, two uniformed police officers, Wenjian Liu Rafael Ramos, were killed in their patrol cruiser in Brooklyn by Ismaayil Brinsley, who later killed himself in a subway station. In January, two plainclothes police officers Andrew Dossi and Aliro Pellarano were shot while pursuing robbery suspects in the Bronx.