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NJ Officer Hit Multiple Times By Fleeing Suspect's Bullets

NJ Officer Hit Multiple Times By Fleeing Suspect's Bullets

February 07, 2011

Originally published on

PARAMUS, NJ – Update: Paramus Police Officer Rachel Morgan is listed in critical but stable condition this morning after she was shot following a chase last night. The gunman, Michael Sean Carmody of Westwood, is reported in critical condition after being shot several times, including in the head.

Morgan, 31, underwent surgery this morning. Her bulletproof vest saved her from a shot in the chest, although at least one bullet penetrated her abdomen. Morgan’s family is with her at Hackensack University Medical Center, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said early this morning.

The exchange came just before midnight at the Garden State Parkway/Route 17 ramp in Paramus, Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT earlier this morning. Morgan had pulled the gunman over in Paramus just after 11 p.m. when he suddenly hit the accelerator and took off, with the officer in pursuit, the prosecutor said.


Michael Sean Carmody

She was chasing Carmody south on Route 17 when he crashed his silver vehicle trying to get onto the southbound GSP entrance ramp. As she approached the car, he began firing, hitting the officer “more than once in the abdomen area,” Molinelli said.

The prosecutor said Morgan and “a backup Paramus police officer whom cannot be named at this time” fired back at Carmody, hitting him several times. Although Molinelli didn’t confirm it, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the incident said he was struck in the head.

“Until the investigation is complete it cannot be determined how many rounds were fired,” the prosecutor said, “but suffice to say the number was considerable.”

Carmody, 23, underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, he said.

A four-year veteran who joined the Paramus department two years ago, Morgan had worked with the New Jersey Institute of Technology police, Molinelli said.

“Her vest saved her from ONE shot [to the chest]. The second penetrated,” a law enforcement officer with knowledge of the shooting said. “Keep in mind that the vest does not cover the abdomen.”

For many, the news likely brought to mind 20-year Fair Lawn police veteran Mary Ann Collura, who was shot and killed by a man she was chasing after he crashed his car on a church lawn the night of April 17, 2003.

Her killer was shot dead himself, down in a quiet stretch of Florida, after he opened fire on police just three days later.

Although it’s too early to speculate, police have been on the lookout for two armed robbers who hit a trio of Dunkin’ Donuts, one in Paramus and another in nearby Hasbrouck Heights, about two weeks ago.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: To the officer, and her family, all love, strength and faith. Protecting and serving us comes at such a price. This is exactly the kind of thing loved ones fear every single time a father, mother, sister, brother, son or daughter who wears a gun and a badge leaves for work.]

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