Skip to main content

Seven Shots

An NYPD Raid on a Terrorist Cell and Its Aftermath

On July 31, 1997, a six-man Emergency Service team from the NYPD raided a terrorist cell in Brooklyn and narrowly prevented a suicide bombing of the New York subway that would have cost hundreds, possibly thousands of lives.

Seven Shots tells the dramatic story of that raid, the painstaking police work involved, and its paradoxical aftermath, which drew the officers into a conflict with other rank-and-file police and publicity-hungry top brass. Jennifer C. Hunt draws on her personal knowledge of the NYPD and a network of police contacts extending from cop to four-star chief, to trace the experience of three officers on the Emergency Service entry team and the two bomb squad detectives who dismantled the live device. She follows their lives for five years, from that near-fatal day in 1997, through their encounters inside the brutal world of departmental politics, and on to 9/11, when they once again put their lives at risk in the fight against terrorism, racing inside the burning towers and sorting through the ash, debris, and body parts. Throughout this fast paced narrative, Hunt maintains a strikingly fine-grained, street-level view, allowing us to understand the cops on their own terms—and often in their own words. The result is a compelling insider’s picture of the human beings who work in two elite units in the NYPD and the moral and physical danger and courage involved.

As gripping as an Ed McBain novel—and just as steeped in New York cop culture and personalities—Seven Shots takes readers on an unforgettable journey behind the shield and into the hearts of New York City police.

Read an excerpt.

384 pages | 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2010


History: Urban History

Sociology: Criminology, Delinquency, Social Control, Occupations, Professions, Work


Seven Shots uncovers the stories, rivalries, and human beings behind the New York City police officers who defused the subway bomb attack that foreshadowed September 11th. With unparalleled access, Hunt uncovers the never-before-told stories of heroism, September 11th, and petty rivalries that drive and destroy life in the NYPD. This is a true-life crime story that shows, warts and all, the unrequited love of good police officers toward an organization that doesn’t love them back. At times gripping, tragic, and theoretical, Seven Shots penetrates deep into the police world. Seven Shots vividly brings me back to my own policing days with laughs, tears, excitement, and adrenaline-filled moments of sheer terror. A groundbreaking, page-turning work.”

Peter Moskos, author of Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District

“This is the most honest, accurate, and heartfelt look beneath the surface of the NYPD that I’ve ever read. This writer understands cops. The core event, the 1997 raid that prevented a Brooklyn subway bombing, moves with the pace of a thriller, yet Jennifer Hunt perfectly, movingly captures the thoughts and emotions of the cops involved. It’s a rare accomplishment to get cops to pour out their hearts like this. That night the actions of a handful saved thousands, yet what followed was jealousy, backstabbing, and betrayal, a result of the shameful NYPD culture that rewards sycophants and political hacks over those who risk their lives. Hunt’s conclusions are clear-eyed and brutally honest. The reader understands as he sees the cops standing knee-deep in the impossible ash and debris of 9/11 struggling to put it all back together. Because this is what cops do, and the NYPD must put itself back together or risk losing these people. This is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of our cities.”

Ed Dee, retired NYPD Lieutenant, author of The Con Man's Daughter

"Hunt here details the NYPD cops who took down a terrorist cell in 1997. Acting on a tip, the NYPD Emergency Services team raided a Brookyln apartment and shot two suspects, who had a fully operational suicide bomb that they planned to detonate in the subway during rush hour. The officesr should have become decorated heroes, but the politics of the police hierarchy complicated their stories. Hunt, who has spent years studying police culture in the NYPD and elsewhere, unfurls the operation and its consequences from the perspectives of five participants. The raid, the petty jealousies, and the politicking of publicity-hugnry superiors all the way up to the police chief and the mayor are brought vividly to life. . . . By turns inspiring, heartbreaking, and infuriating, this will appeal to readers interested in police culture as well as both students and fans of the real-life police procedural."

Library Journal

Table of Contents


1 Rookie
2 10-1
3 Seven Shots
4 This Is Going to Hollywood
5 Blood Trail
6 Ricochet
7 Top Cops
8 Friendly Fire
9 9/11


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press