Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS-- The community continues to rally around an NOPD officer still hospitalized after being shot in the line of duty.

On Thursday night a fundraiser was held in Venetian Isles for Officer John Passaro.

'We've been praying for him, hoping that he's going to do OK,' said Cindy Gwin.

Prayers, well wishes and heaping plates of crawfish filled Hi Tide Bar.

On everyone's minds: helping NOPD Officer John Passaro.

'I have a son who is a policeman. He's also in the same district and it's something that hits real close to home,' said event organizer Troy Williams.

Passaro remains hospitalized and in critical condition after responding to an armed robbery inside a Bywater Dollar General store on Feb. 23. The gunman, who is still at-large, shot Passaro several times.

Detective Sgt. Troy Williams said helping a fellow officer is important.

'Every little bit helps. I'm sure he's going to have financial difficulties for the rest of his life. I figure whatever we can do to help would be great,' said Williams.

New Orleans resident and volunteer firefighter Brian Nunez joined hundreds of others at the special fundraiser wanting to show their support.

'These people are putting their lives in the line every day, especially with the situation in the city of New Orleans. You want to come together to support the police officers,' said Nunez.

Venetian Isles resident Chuck Brackman heard about the event and also showed up.

'It was publicized in the neighborhood a lot so everyone is coming from my neighborhood to support him,' said Brackman.

As one fallen officer fights to recover residents say it's about helping those who help the community.

'They're out there protecting us and you know we have to give back, when something like this happens it's a tragedy,' said Gwin.

The New Orleans Police Department is hosting a fundraiser for Officer Passaro on April 17 at Generations Hall from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Organizers say all donations go towards Passaro's unpaid medical expenses and loss of income.

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