MANHATTAN - A New York Police Department officer from Brooklyn killed in the line of duty was posthumously promoted to detective Friday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly bestowed the honor on Russel Timoshenko about two weeks after his death. Bloomberg presented Timoshenko's parents with his police shield and hailed the officer's courage, saying the fallen officer's actions saved countless future victims.

"He repeatedly demonstrated the qualities that made him an outstanding police officer," the mayor said.

Timoshenko and fellow officer Herman Yan were shot during a traffic stop, setting off a multi-state manhunt. Police said Yan, also promoted to detective Friday, was likely saved by his bulletproof vest.

The three suspects in the case - Robert Ellis, Dexter Bostic and Lee Woods - pleaded not guilty to murder in the July 9 shooting. Police said the gun used was legally purchased in Virginia from a shop with a history of selling firearms to criminals. It isn't yet known how the gun went from the legal owner to the suspects, police said.

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