Justin Angell, the Bellmore firefighter/EMT who was shot on Tuesday night in Bellmore, left Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow on Thursday morning and is expected to make a full recovery.
Members of the Bellmore Fire Department and Angell’s family were on hand to support the 20-year-old firefighter, who took a bullet in the back from a crazed gunman earlier this week.
Angell responded to a car accident and was looking to help a man who had driven into a utility pole on Bellmore Avenue right near Claxton Avenue. Instead, the man began to open fire on the firefighter and other emergency personnel.
“I’m glad to be alive,” Angell said. “… It was scary. I just wanted to make sure to get cover and get out of there.”
“It didn’t make much sense,” he added. “It just happened so quick, I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Justin’s brother, Dean Angell, was driving the ambulance with Justin and one other member of the fire department in it upon arrival. Behind them was Chief of Department Robert Taylor and firefighter Matt Podolski.
The first one out was Justin and as he approached the vehicle, he heard a noise that he thought was a transformer. When he began to feel a pain in his back, he knew something was wrong and ran the other way.
“Once I felt the pain I just started running as fast as I could,” he said. “… It’s pretty scary. It could have been a lot worse. Thank God I wasn’t that close. If I had actually walked up to the car, it could have been a lot worse.”
As Justin collapsed onto a lawn, Dean backed up the ambulance and put it between the gunman and his brother. However, at the time Dean was not aware that it was his brother who had been hit.
Dean then ran out along with the other members of the department and got Justin into the ambulance. They pulled down Marion Street and transported Justin straight to NUMC.
“I pulled up and saw that it was my brother, and that’s when it hit me,” Dean said. “I jumped out and picked him up. Chief Taylor and a couple of the other firefighters picked him up and we took off.”
The police arrived moments later and shot the gunman, who was pronounced dead on the scene.
Dean, 23, joined the fire department when he was 18 and set the example for Justin, who joined just a few years later.
Justin is also an EMT with Brentwood Legion Ambulance, Dean is a cop with the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, and their father, Gene, is a detective with the Nassau County Police.
“The family is about public service,” said County Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, who attended Thursday’s press conference and visited Justin several times. “They love public service, they love Bellmore and they love family…What more can you say about people that are willing to put their lives on the line to protect total strangers?”
Justin said he hopes to be back to work at the department within a month.