An off-duty New York City police officer who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while trying to stop the mugging of a cab driver was promoted to detective from his hospital bed Friday.
New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg both attended the bedside ceremony for Ivan Marcano, who was being treated at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
“I'm doing much better,” Marcano told the New York Daily News from his hospital bed shortly before his release. “It's looking good right now. I'm with nurses and family. That's all I can say right now.”
The incident that led to Marcano's wounds -- some of which was caught on tape -- unfolded earlier this week in the Bronx.
Marcano, 27, was riding in a car with his girlfriend when he witnessed three men mugging a cab driver. Marcano's girlfriend pulled over the car, and he got out with his gun drawn and identified himself as a police officer.
“As soon as he did, one of the suspects fired,” Kelly said in a press conference.
The three suspects then reportedly tried to flee the scene in a Mustang, but they managed to hit another car in the process and got out of their vehicle, at which point Marcano exited his car.
While clutching his gunshot wound and ducking behind cars, Marcano continued to pursue the suspects, one of whom he shot in the head and killed. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Marcano can later be seen approaching an ambulance for help.
The victim of the mugging, Mario Abarca, has since credited Marcano with saving his life, telling the New York Post he believes he would be dead if Marcano hadn't intervened.
“What he did, not everyone would do,” Abarca told the Post.
The NYPD has been outspoken in applauding Marcano's heroic actions.
"He just did a remarkable job and we wanted to reward it," Kelly said following the ceremony, according to the Daily News.
Kelly described Marcano's reaction to his promotion to reporters.
"He was surprised—he was a little sedated. Certainly very happy. He just did a remarkable job and (there was) a promotion ceremony today, so we thought it would be appropriate to do it. Obviously, he couldn't attend, so that's why we did it," he said, according to Gothamist.
Warning: Video of the incident may be disturbing to some viewers.
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