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June 08, 2005
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NYC Cop May Have Abandoned Shot Partner

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - A security videotape captured images of an officer turning and running after his partner was shot and wounded by a drug suspect, a law enforcement official said.

The video — recorded last week by a camera on a nearby building — indicates the partner waited several minutes before returning to help wounded officer Patrick Caprice, said the official, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

The officer, Gilberto Marrero, could face disciplinary action, the official said.

Caprice, 42, was hit three times in the chest during a fierce shootout June 1 but was saved by his bulletproof vest, police said. He remained hospitalized with a wound caused by a bullet fragment.

New York Police Department officials confirmed they had taken Marrero off active duty but declined to discuss his case. Patrolmen's Benevolent Association spokesman Al O'Leary would say only that Marrero was represented by a union lawyer during questioning by investigators.

The incident began after Caprice, a 14-year police veteran, and his partner allegedly saw 18-year-old David Redden buying marijuana in Brooklyn and pulled him over.

The source said the video shows Caprice approaching the car on the driver's side and Marrero on the passenger side. When the suspect opens fire on Caprice, his partner "turns and runs four to five car lengths away and takes cover," the official said.

Redden is seen exiting his car and starting to flee, then doubling back and firing at the fallen officer before getting into his car and driving away. Caprice emptied his weapon as the car sped off, blowing out windows and injuring the driver.

Marrero radioed for backup during the gun battle. But based on the video, investigators believe he went to help his partner only after other officers arrived, the official said.

Redden crashed his car and killed himself before he could be captured, authorities said.

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