JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Two police officers seriously injured during a wild gun battle remained in critical condition Friday, while another officer whose bulletproof vest likely saved his life prepared to be released from the hospital.
Police continued to hold vigil at Jersey City Medical Center for Officers Marc DiNardo and Michael Camacho. They were among eight officers wounded in a shootout that left two armed robbery suspects dead.
DiNardo, 37, who was shot in the left side of the face, remained in critical condition Friday, Jersey City Police Director Sam Jefferson said. Doctors said Thursday that DiNardo had no signs of life when he was brought in and that the officer had to be revived several times.
"Everybody's upbeat. They're looking for him to pull out of it," Jefferson said Friday.
Camacho, 25, who was shot in the neck, had improved to the point where doctors were considering removing a breathing tube so he could breathe on his own, Jefferson said.
Officer Frank Molina, 35, who was shot in the back, was expected to be released from the hospital Friday afternoon or evening.
"The two slugs knocked him down," Jefferson said. "That vest saved his life."
Thursday's shootout erupted during a stakeout. Police said Hassan Shakur had been hiding a pump-action shotgun under a monk's robe when police approached him in the street at about 5:15 a.m., and he began firing.
The shootout ended when SWAT officers fought their way into a third-floor apartment where the suspects had taken cover at about 6:45 a.m. The officers were met by shotgun blasts that ripped through the apartment building's walls and doors.
Shakur, 32, and Amanda Anderson, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene. They had been wanted in connection with a June 18 armed robbery in Jersey City, where a man was shot with the same shotgun, police said. They also were suspected of a similar robbery in South Carolina
Jefferson said the release and publishing of a surveillance video from the June 18 robbery led to "a lot of calls, from all over" from people who recognized the pair, including at least one relative of Anderson.
He said they may have been expecting a confrontation with police.
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"Who comes out to move their vehicle with a shotgun? They knew they were being hunted, and they were ready for anything," Jefferson said.