THE BRONX — The police officer shot while trying to stop a robbery in the Bronx was promoted to detective Friday as cops questioned two suspects.
Police Officer Ivan Marcano was officially promoted to detective third-grade at a ceremony attended by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where he is being treated.
"He was indeed surprised and very happy," Kelly said. "He was shocked when we walked in."
Marcano’s girlfriend was at his bedside and equally delighted by the promotion, Kelly said.
Kelly added that Marcano could be released from the hospital as early as Friday.
Marcano, 27, was in a car on Harrison Avenue with his girlfriend Wednesday evening when they witnessed a group of men allegedly robbing a man on the street. The suspects pistol-whipped the victim, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday.
Marcano, who was assigned to Transit District 12 but was off-duty, told his girlfriend to call 911 and stepped out of his car to intervene.“
But, as soon as he identified himself as a cop, "one of the suspects fired,” Kelly told reporters at a press conference after the shooting.
The bullet that struck Marcano, who wasn’t wearing a bullet-proof vest, grazed his left shoulder and entered his chest, passing just millimeters in front of his heart before exiting and then re-entering his right pectoral muscle, Kelly said.
Despite being wounded, Marcano — who is left-handed — managed to squeeze off shots with his right hand while trying to stop the blood with his other hand. He shot one of the suspects, Prince James, 18, in the head, killing him instantly.
"His presence of mind was amazing. His focus was amazing," Kelly said of Marcano.
The two other men who accompanied James fled the scene but were later caught, said Kelly.
James Leiva, 20, who cops believe was the driver in the robbery, was captured Thursday night.
Rodain Ortega, 17, turned himself in to authorities Friday, Kelly said.
Charges against the men were pending.