The gunman who shot and wounded a Harvey police officer was sentenced to 50 years in prison Tuesday after he admitted his role in the 1998 crime.
Corey Safford shot patrol officer John Marcano in the shoulder and face when he and another man were being patted down and questioned in an area of the south suburb known for drug trafficking on Jan. 22, 1998, according to Cook County prosecutors.
Marcano, then 25, was in full uniform and in a squad car when he approached Safford and Antoine Pate to question them at 154th and Marshfield.
Marcano, who has since changed his name to J.J. Marciano, had stopped the men because he recognized one of them as wanted in Phoenix for robbery, authorities said at the time.
Safford and Pate approached the squad car and put their hands on the hood as they were being patted down.
Pate gave Marcano his identification when asked but when he requested Safford to provide his information, Safford only said he had papers, pulled out a handgun and then shot Marcano, prosecutors said.
When Marcano fell to the ground, Safford stood over him and shot the officer one more time.
The two men fled but Pate ran back to get his ID Marcano was still holding before running off again.
Pate pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the late 1990s, according to State’s Attorney’s spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
Safford, 40, was sentenced Tuesday before Judge Brian Flaherty at the Markham criminal courthouse.
Safford was initially sentenced to natural life in prison without parole eight years after the shooting but he was granted a new trial in 2009 after the Appellate Court ruled that a fingerprint expert was improperly allowed to testify, according to court records.
At his previous sentencing, Safford refused to accept responsibility, saying, “I didn’t do it.”