A Bellmore volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician was presented with the Nassau County Valor Award three weeks after he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on police after he crashed his car into a pole in Bellmore.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano honored the EMT, Justin Angell, with the award in Mineola on Tuesday.
Angell was responding to a call of a pick-up truck slamming into a pole when he was shot by the man involved in the crash. Angell collapsed on a nearby lawn and was taken by ambulance to Nassau University Medical Center where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his torso. He was released two days later.
“I never expected to get anything like this,” said the soft-spoken EMT. “[I never] thought something like this would ever happen, but I’m glad I’m alright, and I appreciate everything the county has supported me with.”
A Nassau County K-9 officer shot and killed Jason Beller, ending a frantic gunfight in the residential neighborhood.
Standing alongside Mangano and other members of the Bellmore Fire Department, and wearing his volunteer uniform with a black cap, Angell said he’s still recovering after Beller nearly killed him.
It was “unbelievable” that Angell was shot, Mangano said, after he was trying to render assistance to the man who would end up shooting him.
“Bravery, courage and sacrifice are just three words that describe Justin Angell,” Mangano said. “For that dedication all of Nassau County is eternally grateful.”
With his father–a police officer–in attendance, and his department chief next to him, Angell was presented with the Valor award. It was the first given by Mangano during his first term as county executive.
Angell has not returned to volunteer work as he continues to let his injuries heal before he goes back to doing anything strenuous. There’s “no rush,” Angell said, “[I] just want to get back healthy.”
Mangano recalled a conversation he had with Angell when he went to visit the young volunteer in the hospital. He told the county executive that the “volunteer firefighter wasn’t supposed to be the one dodging bullets,” referring to his father.
And although nobody would blame him for staying away from volunteering for a little while, Angell shot down the notion that he would hesitate before getting back in action.
“That’s a freak thing,” he said of the shooting. “That’s never crossed my mind. I’m just lucky I’m alright and [I] can’t wait to get back.”