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NYPD Cop Testifies Being Shot Felt 'Like A Sledgehammer' To Hip

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A New York City police officer says the impact felt "like a sledgehammer" when a bullet slammed into his hip, where his gun belt saved him from serious injury.

Testifying Tuesday at accused shooter Luis Martinez's attempted-murder trial, Detective Thomas Richards said he approached Martinez on a lower Manhattan street in February 2012 to ask what he was doing before Martinez pulled a gun and fired at him. Richards said he then shot back, and Martinez ran.

Richards testified that he didn't realize he was wounded until he saw a dent in a spare ammunition magazine hanging on his belt.

Clip Struck By Bullet
This is the magazine that saved officer Thomas Richards' life on Feb. 27, 2012. (credit: NYPD)

Defense lawyer Matthew Myers said Martinez didn't realize the people approaching him were officers, and that they fired first.

Martinez was shot in the buttocks.

According to police at the time of the incident, Richards and his partner, Thomas Dunne, chased Martinez several blocks before Martinez stopped to fire at them a second time. That's when he was struck by a police bullet, authorities said.

Martinez ran to his apartment on Baruch Drive, where he was arrested. Police were able to follow the blood trail to his home.

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