A rookie police officer was shot in both legs in Brooklyn Wednesday when he and his partner tried to stop a bus fare beater, sources said.
The gunman fired three times in the 5 p.m. confrontation in East Flatbush, hitting Officer James Li twice, once in each leg.
Li and his rookie partner, Officer Randy Chow, returned fire but the suspect fled uninjured.
As two women tended to Li, who lay bleeding in a White Castle parking lot at Utica Ave. and Empire Blvd., officers gave chase, west on Empire and Lefferts Ave., then south on Schnectady Ave., where the suspect ran down an alley and into a building.
Police arrested him there, and his gun was recovered, police sources said.
Li was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was visited by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio.
Li, the first NYPD cop shot in the line of duty since July 4th, is expected to recover, sources said.
Witness Jimmy Zitis, 50, who was in the area making a delivery for his glass company, said he heard “a lot of shots -- 15, maybe 20.”
“The cop went down,” Zitis said. “He was...face up and bleeding. He was in a lot of pain. He wasn’t talking too much.”
Fortunately for Li, Zitis said, two women rushed to his aid and worked on his wounds.
“They were amazing,’’ he said. “They must have been nurses.”
Li and Chow entered the Police Academy last July and graduated last month. They were on a foot post, as part of Operation Impact, when the shooting occurred.
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