“I feel for his family. It makes you want to lose it, makes you want to cry,” said Jersey City Police Officer Jon-Paul Sileski on Monday about the man whom he considered a mentor, Officer Marc DiNardo, who died Tuesday at around 9:30 a.m. at the Jersey City Medical Center after several days on life support.
DiNardo, 37, was shot in the face on Reed Street early on Thursday, July 16, during an exchange of gunfire with two robbery suspects. Both suspects were killed.
DiNardo was a 10-year police veteran who leaves behind his wife Mary, three children – Gwendolyn, 4, Marc Anthony II, 3, and Ella, 1 – his father, retired JCPD Lt. Paul DiNardo, and his mother Mary.
38th to die in line of duty
DiNardo was remembered last week as a friendly man who served with distinction in a difficult job. He was the 38th Jersey City Police Officer to die in the line of duty in the 180-year history of the department.
“Aristotle once said that ‘Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit,’ ” said Police Chief Thomas Comey last week. “ ‘We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, and brave by doing brave acts.’ This exemplifies the life and service of Marc DiNardo.”
DiNardo served in the department’s East Precinct for eight years until he was assigned to the highly acclaimed Emergency Squad, a unique unit designed to handle crisis and emergency situations.
He was the recipient of seven Excellent Police Service awards, two Commendations, and a World Trade Center award. As a result of their work in the Reed Street shootout, Mayor Healy announced Monday that DiNardo and his colleague, critically injured officer Michael Camacho, were promoted to the rank of detective.
Mayor Jerramiah Healy said, “This is such a great loss to us, our community and our city. We call on police officers to do things and settle problems we wouldn’t ask of the people closest to us in our lives.”
DiNardo’s wake took place on Thursday at McLaughlin Funeral Home in Jersey City and the funeral was scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Aedan’s Church, also in Jersey City.
Five police officers included DiNardo were wounded when they faced the shotgun blasts from 32-year old Hassian Hosendove, also known as Hassian Shakur, who, along with his girlfriend Amanda Anderson, 22, had been on the run from South Carolina after an arrest warrant was issued for him for armed robbery.
Hosendove was originally from Jersey City but had lived for a number of years in South Carolina, while Anderson was originally from South Carolina. County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said Hosendove had a prior criminal record that included five years in prison, while Anderson had no criminal record.
The suspects were on the run after an incident in South Carolina.
Tips on the attempted robbery were received by the police, including one that led officers to Reed Street, where police were setting up surveillance around 5:15 a.m. July 16.
The two suspects came out of their apartment building and surprised police. Hosendove allegedly pulled a 12-gauge pump shotgun from under the robe he was wearing and shot three times, hitting 20-year police veteran Marc Lavelle. According to police, the two then ran back into the apartment building, where more gunfire ensued.
Also wounded along with DiNardo and Camacho were: Frank Molina, Jr., a 15-year veteran, and Dennis Mitchell, a seven-year Port Authority police officer. They and Lavelle for non-life-threatening wounds.
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said an autopsy done on both Hosendove and Anderson revealed 19 bullets were taken out of Hosendove’s body and two out of Anderson’s body. DeFazio said 50 bullets were fired by the police. Hosendove shot at police seven times, DeFazio said.
DeFazio also debunked a reported claim that police had broken down the door to Hosendove’s apartment with the knowledge that he and Anderson were in there.
“The police were emptying out the building [after the street confrontation] to make sure no one got hurt, and when they approached the door to Hosendove’s apartment, they didn’t hear anyone so they broke down the door,” DeFazio said. “They had no idea if both of them were still in the building.”
After dying, a person continues to live on through the effects of his own actions and the kind deeds of others.
In Dinardo’s case, his family has authorized the donation of his organs through the assistance of the Jersey City Medical Center. Also, the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association (JCPOBA) has set up a scholarship fund.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the JCPOBA, Marc Anthony DiNardo Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 17395, Jersey City, N.J. 07307. Also, the JCPOBA and New Jersey Blood Services sponsored blood drives in honor of DiNardo last week.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.