STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County police officer who was shot last week while chasing a suspect was released from Stony Brook University Hospital on Sunday.

Officer Mark Collins waved and gave a thumbs-up to a crowd of supporters as he was pushed in a wheelchair to a car, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.

“He’s an extremely strong person and the recovery that he made not everyone could have,” said chief trauma surgeon Dr. James Vosswinkel.

Collins was shot in the neck and hip Wednesday after pulling over a car at Mercer Court off Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station.

Sheldon Leftenant, 22, jumped out of the vehicle and ran as officers approached, police said. He then shot Collins when the officer pursued him, investigators said.

Collins, who is assigned to the gang unit in the 2nd Precinct, was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle when he stopped the car, police said.

“The defendant was trapped and Officer Collins engaged him in hand to hand combat so it was a life threatening event,” said Suffolk County Police Chief of Patrol John Meehan.

Collins did not require surgery, but he was placed in a medically induced coma to stabilize his airway.

Honored in 2008 as Suffolk County Officer of the Year, Collins has also been a volunteer firefighter.

“Mark is the type of person who doesn’t shy away from a dangerous situation,” said volunteer firefighter Ed Kraus.

A 12-year veteran of the force, Collins will continue his recovery at his home in North Bellmore, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

“As soon as he can, he wants to get back to work,” said Steven Sarr, with the Suffolk County Police Anti-Gang Unit.

Leftenant, who authorities say is a known gang member, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include attempted aggravated murder.

He is being held without bail. His next court date is Tuesday.


Leave a Reply