NYPD rookie Scott Gadell was killed in a shootout 30 years ago on the day he switched his tour to attend his brother’s graduation from Wantagh High the next day.
On Wednesday, Gadell’s brother, Jeff, now 47, family and officers gathered on the street bearing the fallen officer’s name at his Far Rockaway precinct to commemorate his life, cut short less than a year on the job.
“I wish that my brother was here to see my children and meet my wife, but I know he’s looking down,” said Jeff Gadell, who still lives in the family’s Wantagh home.
He added: “He’s my guardian angel and he’s been on my shoulder for 30 years. And I hope he’ll be there for another 30 years.”
Scott Gadell’s name lives on in his 4-year-old nephew, Ryan Scott Gadell.
Scott Gadell was shot on June 28, 1986 with a 9 mm semi automatic outside a Far Rockaway rooming house while re-loading his .38-caliber, 6-shot revolver. His death led the NYPD to introduce speed loaders, which enabled officers to load all six rounds in one motion, and later 9 mm semi-automatic handguns with more rounds.
Gadell was based at the 101st in Far Rockaway. In the lobby lies a plaque in his memory, with his badge number - 2037.
In the ceremony, Chief of Department James P. O’Neill thanked the family for “sharing Scott with us for as long as you did.”
“The NYPD will always be your second family,” O’Neill told them. “When we wear blue, we wear it together.”
Retired Sgt. Wilton Sekzer, then president of the Shomrin Society, a religious and fraternal organization of NYPD officers, recalled his reaction when he learned Gadell was shot
“You could’ve knocked me over with a feather,” Sekzer said of Gadell, who took part the society events. “I loved that kid.”
The NYPD said the Gadell family has comforted families of slain officers. Among the attendees, were the families of slain officer Randolph Holder and Wenjian Liu.