This story is part of an ongoing series, "American Heroes," which recognizes extraordinary actions beyond the call of duty by our military members, police force, firefighters and many others.
It was a scene you've probably watched many times on your favorite police drama: An officer takes a bullet and keeps going after the bad guys, holding his wound as he fires.
Only Ivan Marcano isn't an actor, and his situation wasn't staged. And for his bravery the New York City cop was promoted to detective in a ceremony with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at his hospital bedside.
According to the NYPD and several news outlets, an off-duty Marcano was in a car with his girlfriend driving when he saw three men mugging a cab driver on Oct. 25.
He sprung out of the car with his gun drawn and identified himself as a police officer. One of the suspects fired a bullet into Marcano's chest, then tried to escape with the two other thugs in a Mustang. They crashed and attempted to run away.
Marcano got back out of his car and continued the chase on foot, Gothamist wrote. He clutched his wound as blood gushed out and took cover behind cars, managing to kill one suspect with a shot to the head. Video of the confrontation shows him finally reaching an ambulance for help.
"He just did a remarkable job," police chief Kelly told the New York Post. The chief later praised Marcano, who pulled the trigger on his Glock with his off-hand, for his “marksmanship and calm under fire,” the Daily News wrote.
The 27-year-old Marcano had surgery to remove the bullet, which narrowly missed his heart, and he was eventually released. Another suspect was captured and the third turned himself in, NBC News reported.
The victim of the stickup, cabbie Mario Abarca, pretty much summed up Marcano's valor to the Post. “What he did, not everyone would do," Abarca said.