Officer Saved by Bullet Proof Vest Released From Hospital - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Officer Saved by Bullet Proof Vest Released From Hospital

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PHILADELPHIA -

Nineteen-year police veteran Jose Roman was all smiles as he left  the hospital Wednesday afternoon headed home after cheating death with the help of his bullet proof vest.

"A real trooper in the sense that he took a nice shot and the bruises would suggest that," said Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross.

It was a tense few moments for Roman, his wife and fellow SWAT Team officers after he was struck by gunfire when his partner fired his shotgun at a gun toting suspect. One shot hit roman's radio, the other struck his vest.

"We're just so thankful that it didn't turn out worse," Ross added

One suspect was seriously wounded. Investigators say he and a second suspect were armed.

"You have two officers and three suspects and you have multiple firearms," said Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan who heads the city's SWAT Team. "It's a really bad situation to find yourself in."

While they have not been charged yet, police say at least one suspect has a long arrest record for attempted murder, aggravated assault and multiple weapons offenses. At the time of the shooting, he was out of jail on probation despite gun convictions.

"Sometimes it feels like we're fighting an uphill battle in arresting the same people over and over again," Ross said.

With a string of officers killed in recent years, both on and off-duty, top commanders say this is another chilling reminder of just how dangerous police work can be.

"We're still out here trying to protect the citizens of the city...."

"When you have as a backdrop the officers who have fallen in the line of duty, it raises and heightens your awareness and your concerns as well," Ross added.

Commissioner Ross also made the point that the department fully supports Officer Roman's partner, who fired the shot trying to protect Roman. Despite taking that shot, Officer Roman actually put the cuffs on one of the suspects.

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