An NYPD sergeant whose life was saved by a fellow cop who died in a hail of gunfire was promoted to lieutenant Friday.
Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, 31, suffered a graze wound when ex-con Manuel Rosales opened fire on cops approaching Rosales’ jeep on Bronx River Ave. in Van Nest on Nov. 4.
Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, 41, was shot in the head during the fierce firefight and died at Jacobi Medical Center.
Tuozzolo was credited with yelling “Gun, gun, gun!” when he and Kwo spotted Rosales. The shout gave Kwo precious warning and likely saved his life.
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Tuozzolo’s widow Lisa attended the ceremony at Police Headquarters to support Kwo.
“This is Manny’s opportunity to support his colleagues and stand behind his co-workers and to honor his colleagues, specifically my husband,” she said.
“Just knowing that Paul is watching over him and protecting him is comforting for all of us. We support one another. I’m his sister. He’s my brother. We’re a family.”
Kwo was honored that she came. “It was very important for me that she be here,” he said.
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“Without him, I don’t make it here. I’m forever indebted to him and his family. It wouldn’t be the same without her. It means the world to me and my wife.”
He admitted his thoughts were on his slain fellow sergeant.
“It’s a good day but there’s also a lot of emotions about Paul not being able to be here,” he said. “I’m sure he’s watching over me and being my mentor from above.”
Meanwhile, Police Officer James Li, 29, whose life was saved by off-duty city paramedics Khadijah Hall and Shaun Alexander after he was shot in both legs, was promoted to detective. Both EMTs were on hand Friday to see Li get promoted.
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The then-rookie cop was shot as he tried to stop a fare-beater on a bus at Empire Blvd. and Utica Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, on Feb. 26, 2014.
The fare-beater ran off and opened fire as cops chased him.
Hall and Alexander just happened to be nearby, saw the gun battle unfolding and rushed to Li’s side.
“After I saw that he was down, I had a kit in my car and got it and went to care for him,” Hall said.
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Li remains grateful to the courageous paramedics.
“We were in the middle of a shootout and they just came,” he said. “They risked their life to help me. They didn’t have to do it.”
Li said he now works in the Intelligence Division and has permanent nerve damage in his legs.
“It’s an honor to be here and to be a part of his celebration and ceremony,” Alexander said.
- gun violence
- police officers shot
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