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NYPD officer promoted after attempting to save wounded partner

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK — A police officer who was shot during a traffic stop in Brooklyn was promoted to detective on Friday for his attempt to save his mortally-wounded partner.

After Officer Russel Timoshenko was shot, Officer Herman Yan stood his ground and exchanged gunfire with their assailants. Then, he quickly radioed in a description of the gunmen's car, even though he had been hit himself.

For five days, Belarus-born Timoshenko "fought valiantly for his life," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a ceremony at police headquarters. "He had his chance in part thanks to the extraordinary actions of his partner, Police Officer Herman Yan."

Kelly told the parents of Timoshenko, who attended the ceremony, that their son's "devotion to duty, his strength and his resolve will never be forgotten by this police department."

Timoshenko, 23, was posthumously promoted last week to detective.

"I thought he was going to be an excellent cop," Yan told reporters when asked about his partner. "I thought he was going to be better than me."

Authorities say Dexter Bostic and Robert Ellis, both 34-year-old ex-convicts, were riding in a stolen sport utility vehicle driven by Lee Woods, 29, early on July 9 when it was pulled over by police in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

As they approached the SUV, Timoshenko was shot in the face with a .45-caliber pistol and Yan was shot with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun.

"When Officer Yan heard the explosion of gunfire and saw his partner fall to the ground, he did not hesitate," Kelly said. "He immediately assumed the combat position and returned fire."

Timoshenko died July 14. Yan, 26, was hit in the chest but was saved by his bullet-resistant vest.

Pennsylvania state troopers captured Ellis and Bostic while they tried to hide in the Pocono Mountains, ending an intense manhunt that spanned three days and several states.

All three men were indicted last week on first-degree murder charges. If convicted, they face life in prison without parole.

Defense attorneys have made competing claims that their clients were driving while the other men opened fire. Police said fingerprints belonging to all three men were found on the vehicle; three guns were found in a bag nearby.

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