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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Off-duty NYPD officer shot

A courageous off-duty cop was shot in the chest Wednesday night in a Bronx shootout but returned fire while clutching his wound — killing one of two gun-wielding suspects, police said.

NYPD Officer Ivan Marcano, 27, was hailed a hero after he bravely took on the gunslingers he saw robbing a man on the street.

“In a remarkable display of marksmanship and cool, he struck one of the suspects,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, where Marcano was recovering.

Kelly said the violence in Morris Heights — straight out of an action movie — erupted about 6:30 p.m. as Marcano and his girlfriend were driving along Harrison Ave. and spotted two men robbing another man — of a mere $80.

Marcano, in civilian clothes and not wearing a bulletproof vest, jumped out of the car and approached the men, showing his badge and identifying himself as a cop, Kelly said.

One suspect immediately turned and fired. The shot grazed Marcano’s left arm, entered the left side of his chest — barely missing his heart — then ricocheted and fractured a rib before ending up in the right side of his chest, Kelly said.

The wounded cop retreated to his girlfriend’s car as the two gunmen jumped into a white Ford Mustang with Tennessee plates and sped off.

At a stoplight at Burnside Ave., Marcano’s girlfriend — intent on getting him to the hospital — frantically honked her horn. Three cars ahead, the Mustang, driven by a third man, crashed into a livery cab on W. Burnside Ave., hit a parked car and jumped the sidewalk.

The suspects bailed, and Marcano, a member of Transit District 12 in the Bronx, chased them.Despite blood oozing from his wound, the eagle-eyed Marcano ran after the thugs, ordering bystanders to “get down!” He took cover behind the cab and fatally shot one suspect in the head, a police source said.

“He was firing one-handed and using the other hand to keep pressure on his wound,” Kelly said.

A .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene.

The other suspect and the driver of the Mustang got away. Cops were combing the area for them Wednesday night and a $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to their arrest.

After shooting the bandit, Marcano flagged an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

“He did everything we could ask of him,” Kelly said of the hero cop.

An NYPD helicopter crew spotted one of the suspects hiding on the roof of a building on Anthony Ave., but he had disappeared by the time officers on the ground reached the building, the source said.

Witness Eddie Rivera, 17, who lives near the shooting scene said he heard six shots, followed by four more.

“There were two different guns going off. Each shot was like a bomb,” said Rivera. “People were screaming and running everywhere.”

Mayor Bloomberg said Marcano, who joined the NYPD in 2007, was in pain but “bright-eyed” when he visited him at the hospital.

“He joked about how lucky, or unlucky, he is,” Bloomberg said, adding that Marcano was surrounded by his parents, girlfriend and brother.

The mayor said the cop was the 12th NYPD officer to be shot this year. The harrowing hail of bullets occurred only a day after Nassau County cop Arthur Lopez was murdered in cold blood on the Cross Island Parkway.

Marcano’s brother said he was in good shape.

“He’s perfect," Victor Marcano said. “I know he was doing a good thing.”

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