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.”

Has New Jersey become too violent? Sound off in the comments section.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (10)
  1. Micahel Daggett says:

    Rachel, My most sincerest thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. May you heal swiftly both physically and in your strength to return to the marked unit. Remember, your family runs throughout the state and we are all thinking about you through your difficult time. Your Brother, Sgt. Mike Daggett

  2. acnj says:

    Was he profiled? I think sometime is looking for trouble when they have fictitious plates. Get a life armenia

  3. jtorres says:

    Doesn’t sound to me like he’s “fighting to get out of” the legal system. Speeding away from the police when they attempt to pull you over and shooting a cop is not the way you “get out” of trouble. And if his neighbor isn’t surprised, that should say plenty about his history with the penal system. Hopefully it ends now with him behind bars for a good long time. Godspeed, Officer Morgan.

  4. Mr Armenia says:

    Was Mr. Carmody profiled?

  5. DanTe says:

    He looks like he’ll be popular in jail: Shaved eyebrows. Pouty lips. Shaved vaginal hair surrounding the frontal orifice. He’s born for that role.

  6. Nemesis xyz says:

    NOW can we melt all of the GUNS in the world and make them into SPACECRAFT? You’ll probably be able to make millions of spacecraft what with all the guns and ammo out there. No telling how much metal there is all together. And you can tell that to the NRA.

    1. Samantha Koyak Armstrong says:

      LOVE IT

  7. Glenn says:

    He writes “caught up in the legal system” hopefully he will be incarcerated for a long long time.

  8. Carlos Liriano says:

    she is really beautiful lady, i sure hope she gets well soon, i hope also that she is a good of a cop as she pretty. God speed Officer Morgan

  9. Steve says:

    What a beautiful woman. We are all pulling for you, Officer Morgan. Don’t give up the fight!!!

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