(Rochester, N.Y.) - The officer who was ambushed and shot in the back of the head Saturday is Anthony "Tony" DiPonzio.
He was investigating a report of drug activity on Dayton Street and was returning to his car when the single shot that hit him rang out.
Doctors removed the bullet in over two hours of surgery. Dr. Paul Maurer said the surgery went smoothly but the officer still has a long journey ahead.
DiPonzio is listed in guarded condition. He does, however, show some positive signs --he recognizes family’s voices and can squeeze a hand and hold up fingers.
Police Chief David Moore said, "He's fighting for his life."
DiPonzio is a graduate of Aquinas Institute and SUNY Brockport.
DiPonzio's Parents Releast Statement
Tony and Joanne DiPonzio, parents of Anthony, released the following statement Monday:
“We would like to thank the entire greater Rochester community for the outpouring of love, support and prayers for our son, Anthony, during this very challenging and difficult time.
In particular, the presence and personal support of Mayor Duffy and Governor Paterson Saturday evening, and the assistance they provided in bringing members of our family home to be with Anthony, is deeply appreciated.
Obviously, we also extend our gratitude to the staff at Rochester General – especially Dr. Paul Maurer – for providing such outstanding care and compassion, not only to our son, but to our entire family.
“Finally, our love and thanks go out to all of the members of the law enforcement community, who have been with us every step of the way – especially to the brave officers who saved Anthony’s life by getting him to the hospital so quickly.
We ask that the community keep Anthony, and all of his fellow officers, in their prayers.”