NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police released the name and photo of a man Thursday afternoon wanted for questioning in connection with the attempted murder of an NYPD officer.
Police have identified the suspect as Jason Leiva, 20, described as a 5-foot-8, 148-pound Hispanic man.
The suspect’s name was announced just hours after police released dramatic surveillance video showing off-duty officer Ivan Marcano firing at robbery suspects even after being shot in the chest by one of the suspects.
The surveillance video shows Marcano applying pressure to his own gunshot wound as he kept his cool and fired on the suspects, killing one, police said.
“So imagine…having the wherewithal to take a bullet, pursue a suspect, maintain your firearm, protect the lives of others…that is a hero right down to the marrow of his bones,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said.
Police said Marcano, 27, was with his girlfriend in her car when she witnessed a robbery in progress in Morris Heights Wednesday night.
Watch the surveillance video:
Marcano told his girlfriend to call 911 as he got out of the car with his gun and shield and identified himself to the suspects as a cop, police said.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
That’s when “one of the suspects fired, striking Officer Marcano in the chest,” according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Marcano, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the chest as he tried to help Mario Arbaca, who was being beaten.
“He yelled, but I couldn’t hear it what it was. My head was still banging from the hit. All of sudden, this kid turned around and boom shot him,” Arbaca said.
The two suspects then took off in a white Ford Mustang driven by a third suspect, police said. Marcano got back into his car and with his girlfriend at the wheel, followed them.
WEB EXTRA: View Photo Gallery Of Shooting In The Bronx
The video shows the white car Marcano was driving in pull up behind another white car that the robbery suspects were in. The suspects’ car can then be seen lurching forward into a livery cab and another parked car. The white Mustang then careened onto the sidewalk before coming to a stop, police said.
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports
After the suspects’ car came to a stop, Marcano is seen in the surveillance video getting out of his car and, with one hand applying pressure to his own wound, using the other hand to shoot and kill one of the suspects, police said.
The suspect fatally shot by Marcano has been identified by police as Prince James, 18, of the Bronx.
Marcano is seen telling a bystander to get down and using a parked car as cover as he fired at the suspects.
“Police Officer Marcano was protecting our city and putting his life on the line, even when he was off-duty,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday.
As he followed one of the suspects onto Burnside Avenue, Marcano stumbled upon an ambulance that was parked on Burnside near Harrison. He is seen in the video apparently talking to a medic in the front of the ambulance before climbing in and getting taken to the hospital.
Kelly said Marcano got lucky, noting his gunshot wound could have been much worse.
“It enters his left chest area and basically goes across, goes out and goes back in. The bullet is lodged in his chest, barely missing vital organs,” Kelly said.
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
Marcano is now recovering and is listed in stable condition.
Police continue to search for two suspects wanted in the shooting. There is a $22,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of those wanted in connection with the attempted murder of officer Marcano.
Those who know Marcano were not surprised by his heroism.
“He takes his job very seriously, and if he took the time out to step in this situation, he saw fit and did the best he could do,” said neighbor Tanya Childers, who has known Marcano for 14 years.
Childers said Marcano may have been inspired to go into law enforcement after his father’s death in 2001. He was among the 260 people who died when Flight 587 went down in Belle Harbor in one of the deadliest crashes on American soil.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio released a statement Thursday commending Marcano for his actions.
“Officer Ivan Marcano showed incredible courage stopping an armed robbery and risking his life to protect his fellow New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “He demonstrated the highest level of commitment and selflessness — even while off duty.”
A .380 caliber, semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene, Kelly said.
“This is another case of guns in the wrong hands ending in violence,” Bloomberg said. “He is the 12th NYPD police officer who has been shot this year and the second police officer we’ve seen shot this week.”
Police said they are questioning a number of people in connection with the Bronx shooting, but so far, no charges have been filed.
The Bronx incident follows Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Officer Arthur Lopez, of the Nassau County Police Department on the Cross Island Parkway.
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