Lorenzo Zackery of Newark is expected to recover, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported. Zackery was shot Sunday night in Knockouts Go-Go Lounge in Newark.
Investigators say Darnell McNeil, 19, angry about being denied admittance to Knockouts, returned with a gun and opened fire. Zackery, an Essex County sheriff's deputy, ran after him in spite of his wound, and opened fire.
Zackery spotted a police car and hailed it, Fontoura said.
"He was on the verge of collapse and death," the sheriff added.
Zackery was a star athlete at Weequahic High School in the 1970s and went on to play football at the University of Colorado and, briefly, for the Washington Redskins. Fontoura said he continued to be a "workout fanatic," which may have helped him survive.
Investigators were unsure if Zackery was at the bar to provide security for a Super Bowl party, but they said he was not involved in denying McNeil admission.
McNeil's relatives described him as an honor student who was attending Raritan Community College and working in a hospital.