Family court officer fatally shoots himself while on duty in Manhattan

Court officers lined up to honor the deceased.
Photo by Dean Moses

A court officer committed suicide with his own firearm inside of the New York County Family Court building in Lower Manhattan on Monday afternoon, according to the New York State Court Officers Association.

The steps of New York County Family Court located at 60 Lafayette St. became the backdrop of flashing emergency lights and a revolving door of first responders just after 3 p.m. on March 1st.

According to Dennis Quirk, President of the New York State Court Officers Association, the court officer asked a colleague to cover him during a bathroom break.

Upon entering the restroom, Quirk said, the unnamed officer fatally shot himself in the head.

To those who knew him, this tragedy could not come as more of a shock. With over 15 years of service as a court officer, he was a man that was said to always put others first and someone friends could rely on for help.

“He was fine this morning. He was a great court officer, everybody loved him. Nobody has any explanation about what happened,” Quirk told amNewYork Metro.

Fellow officers were left in shock by the act. Photo by Dean Moses

One of five siblings, Quirk said, the 50-year-old man came from a family of court officers. In fact, two of his brothers also worked in the same position. According to Quirk, the man also resided with one of his brothers who also said he seemed “fine.” 

“You would never in a million years would think something like this would happen with him, he would take the shirt off his back to help anybody,” Quirk added.

Fellow court officers lined up outside the entranceway to send off the body with a final show of respect to honor their fallen officer. However, it was swiftly decided to remove the remains from a back entrance.

A coroner’s van could be seen docking in a garage in an alleyway behind the building accompanied by NYPD officers before pulling away. 

 “He was a great person,” Quirk said, still in shock.  

If you or someone you care about appears suicidal, call the Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. Counselors are available to talk 24 hours a day.

The deceased officer was removed from a back entrance. Photo by Dean Moses