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Colorado police officer from LI out of intensive care unit, police say

Cem Duzel, who grew up in Manorville, was in serious and stable condition after a shooting earlier this month, officials said.

Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel, in an

Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel, in an undated photo provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department, was shot Aug. 2 and has been in the hospital since. Photo Credit: AP

Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel, a Manorville native who was shot in the head during a confrontation with an armed suspect earlier this month, has been released from intensive care, law enforcement officials said.

Duzel's condition was upgraded from critical to serious and stable last week, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department. And on Tuesday night, the police department reported on its Facebook page that Duzel, 30, was released from the intensive care unit at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He was still being treated by the hospital's staff, police said.

"We're so happy to report that Cem continues to move forward," the department said in the post. 

A department spokeswoman said they had no additional information on Duzel's condition Wednesday.

Duzel, a 2005 graduate of Westhampton Beach High School, was "gravely wounded" Aug. 2 when he responded to a report of shots fired east of the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi, 31, an Iraqi refugee with a lengthy criminal history, was charged with attempted murder, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and felony menacing. He is being held at the El Paso County jail on $1 million bond, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said.

He was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. Law enforcement officials could not be reached for details of his appearance.

Jennifer Chu, Al Khammasi's court-appointed public defender, did not respond to a request for comment.

The shooting appeared to stem from a confrontation reported by an Uber driver. According to the ride-hailing service, a female driver picked up a rider but ended the trip because of the passenger's behavior.

The male passenger, who was not identified by Uber, then got out of the vehicle and the driver heard gunshots and called 911, the company said.

Duzel, a five-year veteran of the police force who works out of the department's Sand Creek Division, was among a group of officers who responded to the call.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey said officers arriving on the scene encountered Al Khammasi in the street and he pulled out a handgun and began firing at officers. There was an exchange of gunfire and Duzel was struck in the head, officials said.

Al Khammasi, who was granted refugee status after arriving in the United States in May 2012, has previous arrests and convictions for drunken driving, criminal extortion, assault, possession of a handgun and trespassing, The Associated Press reported. Federal immigration officials began deportation proceedings against Al Khammasi in 2015 after he violated his probation for a felony trespassing charge and an immigration court judge ordered he be removed from the country the following year.

But in late 2016, federal prosecutors ended the deportation proceedings, citing an unrelated Court of Appeals ruling that found a portion of federal immigration law defining violent crimes was too vague, a Department of Homeland Security official told the AP.Al Khammasi was released from custody on Nov. 7, 2016, the official said. 


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