Donated heart of hero NJ detective continues to provide life to another man

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — It’s been eight years since Jersey City Police Detective Marc DiNardo, 37, was killed in a shootout with a robbery suspect.

Police stormed the armed fugitive’s apartment in 2009 and five officers got shot.

DiNardo took a bullet to the face and died just a few days later.

He left behind three young children, all under the age of five, and a heartbroken wife.

“I didn’t know what to say to the kids. I told them daddy was hurt by a bad man,” said DiNardo’s widow, Mary.

Today, Mary DiNardo and her kids celebrated her husband’s life outside the grammar school where he walked every day as a child. It now bears his name.

“Their dad was a hero. And died a hero,” said Mary DiNardo.

Also at Friday's memorial service was a man who now carries a piece of Marc with him everywhere he goes.

“He sounds like someone you would go into a gun fight with and he would have your back, “said Don Zolkiwsky.

Det. DiNardo donated his organs. Zolkiwsky received Marc’s heart.

“I just gave my daughter away,” he said. “If I didn’t have the heart I wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

Det. DiNardo was a decorated, 10-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department. His death marked the 38th passing of an officer in the line of duty during the department’s 180-year history.