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Wounded Bellmore Firefighter Leaves Hospital [VIDEO]

Justin Angell, the firefighter who was shot on Tuesday night in Bellmore, left NUMC early Thursday morning.

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.

Tom Baxter March 06, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Yes, standard boilerplate response from the NCPD notwithstanding, you should hold their feet to the fire to explain what he was doing so far from Commack in S. Bellmore, where they believe this individual was coming from and what the serial numbers on the guns reveal as to their source. If nobody asks, we'll never know anything other than what they want us to. And while you're at it, please ask them to justify the high cost of flying this fellow home in a Nassau County Police helicopter. The county cannot simultaneously be in financial straits and yet see fit to expend a ridiculous amount of money flying this guy a total of 5 miles on non-police business! Since when is the NCPD helicopter corps in the delivery business? It would seem to this ordinary taxpayer that a waste of taxpayer dollars ocurred here, and somebody needs to be held accountable for the extravagance. Where is our Tea Party Save Every Taxpayer Dollars, County Executive on this one?
Paul Hahrrgis March 06, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Jay-would you care to clarify what you are referring to with respect to helicopters? I see no mention in this article of any helicopters...perhaps this comment is on the wrong article.
Matthew Hogan March 06, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Hi Jay, Where did you hear that he was taken home in a helicopter? I saw him leave the NUMC on Thursday in a Bellmore FD ambulance. Let me know! Thanks, Matt
An tUasal Airgead March 06, 2011 at 10:58 PM
It read that way in Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/shot-firefighter-returns-home-to-bellmore-1.2729137 >>> Thursday, Justin Angell was joined by his father, Gene, 51, his brother and more than a dozen members of the Bellmore Fire Department in an auditorium at the hospital. The firefighters cheered as Angell was wheeled out. He was flown in a police helicopter to Gunther Field across the street from his house. From there, an ambulance drove him home. Though he needed help to stand at the hospital, by the time he arrived he was able to walk up the three stairs to the two-story house. >>>
Matthew Hogan March 06, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Thanks Airgead! Much appreciated.

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