Reporting Christine Sloan
PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) –A Paramus police officer remained in critical condition at Hackensack University Medical Center Tuesday more than a day after being shot.
Officer Rachel Morgan was shot during a wild gunfight with 23-year-old Michael Carmody Sunday night near the Garden State Parkway. She managed to get several shots off at the suspect, along with a backup police officer who also opened fire.
Morgan’s bulletproof vest stopped two of five bullets. She was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center, where doctors performed hours of surgery.
“The operation went on for approximately three hours. Everybody’s hopes had come to be realized when we heard the good news that everything went well,” said Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbieria.
According to detectives, the two-year veteran was trying to stop Carmody’s car. Authorities say Carmody, a Westwood resident, sped off, lost control and crashed on the entrance ramp to the Garden State Parkway.
Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera Describes The Shoot-Out
“He did a 180. Officer Morgan approached the car and as she was doing such the suspect immediately opened fire on her,” said LaBarbieria.
Another officer arrived and started shooting, hitting the suspect several times. “The suspect was hit at least five to six times,” said LaBarbieria.
Carmody was also in critical condition. He was under police guard at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
On Monday night the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said it filed attempted murder charges against Carmody.
“He’s had a troubled life and what I heard about this didn’t surprise me so much but he … it’s shocking,” Michael Machorek, Carmody’s neighbor, told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
On his MySpace page, Carmody talks about brushes with the law, including drugs and DWI arrests.
He writes: “I been through hell and I’m still in it. Caught up in the legal system since I was 15 … still fighting to get out of it. When my mom died I lost my head.”
As for Officer Morgan, the mayor said, “She’s a strong person and a great cop and we wish nothing but the best for her.”
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