Veteran NYPD officer dies after early-morning robbery in Brooklyn
The fatal shooting of a decorated NYPD officer early Monday -- allegedly by a career criminal -- sent shockwaves through the department, which mourned the loss of one of their own while moving swiftly to locate a second suspect linked to the cold-blooded killing in Brooklyn.
Officer Peter Figoski, 47, was shot in the face after responding to an apartment burglary at 2:15 a.m. on Pine Street in Cyprus Hills. He later died at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
The father of four from West Babylon was warmly remembered in the neighborhood for his affable demeanor - one undeserving of such an ill-fated death.
"He wasn't aggressive. He was polite. He was a beautiful cop," said Carlos Rosa, 52, an avid cyclist who knew Figoski, a 22-year veteran, from his Brooklyn beat.
"When I saw this on TV, I started crying," he added.
About 200 police officers, many of them in uniform, gathered around the ambulance bay outside Jamaica Hospital to pay respects to Figoski's family.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg described how officers on the frontlines are threatened every day, but it's a glaring reality when it's the ultimate sacrifice - their lives.
"I'm the father of two myself - and having to tell kids of any age what happened to their father or mother is, without a doubt, the hardest thing any mayor ever has to do," Bloomberg said at a predawn news conference.
The alleged cop killer - Lamont Pride, 27, of Brooklyn - was taken into custody after the robbery, while a second man was still being sought. The unnamed suspect was last seen on a surveillance camera outside a self-serve laundry on Fulton Street.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Pride has five prior arrests, including for drug possession and sale. He also has an outstanding warrant in North Carolina for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Pride was most recently in custody last month, NBC New York reported, when a Brooklyn judge released him for a drug-related arrest on Nov. 3. It was unclear why he was let go, even though he had an outstanding warrant.
A police spokesman didn't return a request for comment.
Figoski and his partner, Officer Glenn Estrada, served as backup when they arrived at the burglarized apartment, where other officers were already interviewing the tenant, police said. Figoski walked to the bottom of a staircase leading to the basement apartment when Pride, who had been hiding out, allegedly shot him, Kelly said.
Meanwhile, Estrada, who had been wrestling with the other suspect, began a foot chase with Pride for several blocks, according to police. He was treated for a sprain in his right shoulder after capturing him.
Police said they recovered a handgun near where Pride was taken into custody and a second gun inside the apartment. The suspects allegedly stole $770 in cash during the robbery and an inexpensive watch.