NYPD Det. Steven McDonald’s death last month from an apparent heart attack has been classified as a 2017 homicide, even though he survived being shot by a teenager in Central Park in July 1986, officials said Tuesday.
The NYPD’s classification of McDonald’s death as a homicide decades after he was injured is often done in cases where crime victims die as a result of assaults and shootings that take a toll later in life, a police spokesman said.
McDonald was shot by Shavod Jones and left a quadriplegic, though a wheelchair gave him mobility and a respirator he used to breathe allowed him to talk. He was an active member of the NYPD until he died at age 59.
McDonald, who was stricken Jan. 6, was taken off life support Jan. 10. His funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan on Jan. 13 drew thousands of mourners.
Jones, who was sent to prison for attempted murder and was released in 1995, died in a motorcycle accident a few days after being freed.
McDonald’s death has been factored into 2017 NYPD crime data. Through Sunday, there have been 17 killings for the year, compared with 22 in the same period in 2016.