Thursday, July 16, 2009 | 5:19 PM
JERSEY CITY (WABC) -- Five police officers were shot, leaving two in critical condition, during a shootout in Jersey City Thursday.
Police say one of the suspects used a pump shotgun and was ready for battle. When it ended, eight cops were hurt and two suspects were dead.
Newscopter 7 was over the morning chaos on Reed Street. Police lead residents safely away before advancing, heavily armed, on two barricaded suspects whose gunshots had already left one Jersey City officer shot in the leg. The shooting, however, had only begun.
George Brazdzionis saw the aftermath of what happened next - a gun battle between the two suspects and police. Four other officers were shot in the exchange. Brazdzionis watched as paramedics rushed an officer from the scene.
"He was holding his chest," he said. "He had blood on his eye and his neck."
In total, five officers were shot, three others were injured. The most seriously hurt officer remains in critical condition. All are Jersey City police officers except one, who is a Port Authority police officer.
Doctors at Jersey City Medical Center said the most seriously injured officer, identified as Officer Mark Dinardo, who was shot in the face, was in full cardiac arrest, with no signs of life, when he arrived for treatment. Doctors said they had to bring him back to life five or six times before they could stabilize him.
The trauma team at Jersey City Medical Center said a millimeter made the difference in life or death for 25-year-old Officer Mike Comacho. A five-year veteran, he took a bullet to the neck that narrowly missed killing him.
Two other Jersey City officers took bullets. Police say 35-year-old Frank Molina was hit in the back and bullet-proof vest and remains hospitalized in stable condition. Officer Marc Lavelle, a 20-year veteran with 20 commendations, was hit in the leg and has been released. Also released was Dennis Mitchell, a Port Authority officer and father of three. He was shot in the arm.
The two suspects, identified as Hasan Shakur and Amanda Anderson, were killed at the scene. They were being sought in connection with an armed robbery last month in which they allegedly shot a man in the abdomen with the same shotgun. Authorities said that the woman did not have a firearm, but that her partner wielded his weapon with deadly intent, sending residents scrambling for cover in a violent neighborhood known for illegal drug sales.
"This individual came fully ready to go to war with us," said Police Chief Tom Comey. "This is a gun meant for nothing other than to hunt a man."
Police identified the vehicle used in the earlier robbery from surveillance video. Two officers were told that the suspects moved it each morning to avoid getting a ticket and staked it out. The gunfight began when the suspects approached their car. The man pulled out a pump-action shotgun and fired at the marked police car, blowing out its windshield. That is when the officer was shot in the leg.
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