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NYPD Narcotics Detective Wounded In Shooting On Staten Island Hailed As Hero For Protecting Fellow Officers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An NYPD detective was shot while executing a search warrant Thursday on Staten Island.

According to police, a shootout between the detective and a suspect happened in a home on Rockne Street in the New Springville section of the borough at around 6 a.m.

The wounded officer, identified as Dominick Libretti, was taken to Staten Island University Hospital in stable condition.

"Based on a long-term investigation, Staten Island narcotics officers conducted a warrant this morning at 82 Rockne St. After entering that location, they made their way up a flight of stairs where the perpetrator fired numerous shots at our officers, striking one detective in the leg," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

The officers returned fire, according to Sewell.

Watch: NYPD Officials Give Update After Detective Shot On Staten Island

NYPD Ballistic Shield
(credit: Image obtained by CBS2)

"Even with a serious leg wound, bleeding badly enough that fellow officers had to apply immediate pressure to slow the blood loss, he held up a ballistic shield in front of his team to protect them from gunfire," Sewell said.

Residents of the area told CBS2 they didn't know their neighbors, but saw a lot of people coming and going from that home. Still, they found the news to be shocking.

"Everybody ran out of the house. They took the cop in the car and they drove off," the man told CBS2's Leah Mishkin.

"I've been here 32 years. I've never seen this. This is wild stuff," resident Tom Biondolillo said.

Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo, who was present on behalf of Mayor Eric Adams, who is in Washington D.C., said she met with Libretti and his family at the hospital and offered him the support of the city.

"He risked his life for all of us. Now we have to support him," Grillo said.

The officer's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, but Dr. Eli Kleinman, the NYPD's supervising chief surgeon, said, "This is possibly a career-ending injury. The officer will be going to the OR because of some complications that have set in and we're all praying for his recovery and we expect that he will make a full recovery."

Libretti is the third city cop to be wounded on the job to start 2022.

"Because there are so many guns on the street and the policies that are in place with bail reform are not working, the people of this city are unsafe. The start of bail reform until now, there's a direct correlation to shootings, drug dealings and violent crime in this city. It's clearly not working," Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said.

The shooting suspect, 39-year-old Nelson Pizarro, has seven prior arrests in New York, a gun arrest in Massachusetts and a larceny in Connecticut, said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.

Pizarro was shot in the leg and taken into custody. He is expected to recover.

He has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.

The person who officers had an arrest warrant for was also taken into custody, as were two women who were inside the home.

CBS2's Leah Mishkin contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Jan. 20.

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