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Wounded N.J. Officer Wakes From Induced Coma

February 02, 2010  | 

The police officer who was shot Saturday evening after stopping a suspicious vehicle just blocks from headquarters has emerged from a medically induced coma and is "in and out" of consciousness, acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said tonight.

"He's due to have additional surgery. We're waiting until he becomes better and stronger" before getting more information from Officer Gerald Veneziano, Laurino said.

Veneziano, 26, a three-year veteran of the department, remained in critical but stable condition tonight at University Hospital in Newark, said Charlotte Smith, Essex County executive assistant prosecutor. The officer was shot multiple times in the torso and chest.

Separately, a law enforcement source said earlier today that Veneziano is "participating in the investigation" and has been able to describe the vehicle he stopped just moments before he was shot.

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