Blue Line of Support As Cop Leaves Hospital After Shooting
Officer Robert Salerno gets hero's greeting outside hospital. [AP]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
April 07, 2010
BRONX – Brave cop Robert Salerno got an enthusiastic show of support from his fellow officers as he left a Bronx hospital Monday – just two weeks after a crazed gunman nearly took his life during a wild shootout.
Smiling from ear to ear, Salerno, 25, was wheeled out of Lincoln Hospital by fellow Officers Robert Klein, Daniel Robbins and Sean Fitzpatrick – who rescued their wounded comrade during the March 22 gun battle.
Dozens of officers cheered wildly to assure Salerno – the first cop shot in the line of duty this year – that his heroism was not in vain.
“It’s the brotherhood,” said one cop. “Got to take care of our own.”
The shooting occurred when Salerno and the other cops were summoned to Park Ave. in Melrose, where a home health aide Yesenia Rodriguez was being beaten and threatened with a gun by Santiago Urena, whose advances she had rejected.
When the cops arrived, Urena, 57, opened fire, striking Salerno twice in the abdomen.
The bullets ripped through the cop’s front left side and blasted out of his right back side. A third bullet lodged in Salerno’s protective vest .
Urena was shot and killed by the cops’ return fire – including 16 shots from Salerno.
Soula Priovolos, the trauma surgeon who first treated Salerno, said the shots caused damage to his small and large intestines, bladder and nerves in his right leg.
Still, Salerno – sporting sunglasses, a white T-shirt and blue jeans – looked completely at ease Monday. He hopped into an ambulance with his brother, heading to a rehabilitation center in White Plains.
“It’s a very good day,” said Salerno’s father, Joseph. “We just ask for everyone’s help and continued prayers.”