NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s not the first time Jeffrey Cisnero Camacho is meeting these two police officers – it’s the second, and this time around, it’s a much happier reason.
“Sean and Jenny are my angels,” said Camacho, the livery cab driver who was shot multiple times by a passenger in the Bronx last month.
With tears in his eyes, flowers in his hands, and his family by his side, the 26-year-old father of three is overjoyed to come face to face again with the NYPD officers who saved his life.
“Today we are celebrating the compassion of these police officers,” said Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers. “It’s not everyone that will take a stranger in their hands.”
While driving his livery cab in the Soundview section of the Bronx on March 17, authorities say Camacho’s passenger robbed him of $23 and shot at him 12 times, eight of which hit him and two are still lodged in his leg.
“Don’t play with me, you got my money,” recalled a frightened Camacho. “Please don’t kill me because I have three daughters, and a wife and mother. I have family and my home.”
Camacho was by the corner of Morrison Avenue and 172nd Street but drove himself to a flashing NYPD patrol car blocks away.
Behind the wheel was Officer Jennifer Nicalek and Officer Sean Higgins.
“We has no idea what was going on,” said Nicalek. “We just got out of car and saw someone that needed help.”
“We thought he was having a heart attack, because he was holding his chest,” said Higgins “Then we saw blood on his inner thigh.”
The officers treated the livery cab driver, cradling him in their arms and keeping him alive until an ambulance arrived.
“Breathe (in) your nose, out through your mouth,” he said. “So he would relax himself. While holding his hand, I had a gauze on one of his bullet wounds.”
Camacho is forever grateful and the community where he almost lost his life is also celebrating his recovery, after weeks of prayers. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Camacho and his family.
Police say they’ve arrested the man accused of this shooting.