Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City police officer shot on duty two decades ago now faces a new battle to survive.
Mary Bubala reports Officer Gene Cassidy finds his fellow cops are still by his side.
Officer Gene Cassidy was shot 25 years ago fighting crime on the streets of the Western District. He survived and thrived as a teacher at the police academy, even though a bullet to the face took his eyesight. Now, so many years later, Gene Cassidy finds his life is on the line again.
Gene Cassidy needs a liver transplant. He unknowingly contracted Hepatitis C all those years ago from blood transfusions to save his life.
Monday, at Fraternal Order of Police headquarters, rank and file are donating blood and offering support to Cassidy.
Sgt. Keith Gladstone stopped by before heading into work.
“Almost 20 years ago, he taught my class and his legacy, I would just like him to continue on doing what he’s doing,” Gladstone said.
Officers are a family and everybody here wants to help Gene Cassidy out. For some, it’s deeply personal.
“On the night he was shot, he was working his 7:15 and I would have relieved him within an hour or two,” said Lt. Richard Piel.
Piel is a close friend of Cassidy’s and that could make him a candidate for a living organ donation.
“For me, it’s not a sacrifice. It would be a great honor and privilege,” Piel said.
“I am overwhelmed and deeply, deeply touched,” Cassidy said.
So far, more than 80 people have come by the FOP to donate blood and offer support to Cassidy. If you would like to do the same, the drive continues until 7 p.m. Monday.