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NYPD officer saved by vest leaves hospital

Officer Brian Groves, in an undated photo provided

Officer Brian Groves, in an undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department. Groves was saved by his bulletproof vest when he was shot early July 5, 2012, while chasing a suspect in the stairwell of a Lower East Side housing project in New York, according to police. Credit: AP/NYPD

The NYPD officer from Patchogue whose life was saved by his bulletproof vest in a shooting at a Manhattan housing project was released from Bellevue Hospital Center on Friday, officials said.

Brian Groves, 30, left the hospital without the traditional fanfare "walk-out" past other officers that has accompanied the release of other cops wounded in previous shootings, an NYPD spokesman said.

Groves, who is assigned to the housing police bureau, suffered some blunt trauma and bruising to his chest when his vest stopped a small-caliber round from a suspect's handgun during a pursuit in a stairwell at the high-rise Seward Park Housing on the Lower East Side early Thursday morning. Groves fired four times at the suspect, but investigators are not certain if the assailant was hit.

Investigators were continuing a manhunt Friday for the suspect, who is described as being in his 20s with hair in cornrows.

Officials monitored Groves overnight at Bellevue because they were concerned that his heart might have been affected by the force of the bullet.

An NYPD spokesman said it was likely that Groves would be on some kind of modified duty status for the foreseeable future. Groves couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

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