Charges were upgraded to felony murder Friday against the 16-year-old who police said started a Coney Island high-rise fire that led to the death of an NYPD officer, authorities said.
Marcell Dockery, a resident of the Surf Avenue building, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.
Dockery was initially charged with arson, assault and reckless endangerment in the Sunday afternoon mattress fire in which housing police officers Dennis Guerra, 38, and Rosa Rodriguez, 36, were overcome by dense smoke and toxic fumes.
Guerra, a father of four from Queens, died Wednesday at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, police said.
Rodriguez, a mother of four also from Queens, remained in critical but stable condition, Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
"The death of a police officer as a result of an intentional act not only affects an individual, it is indeed a direct assault upon society as a whole," Bratton told the crowd Wednesday at a poignant One Police Plaza ceremony at to mark Guerra's passing. "The entire city grieves this terrible loss.
"It is a startling reminder that what can appear to be a routine assignment can very quickly become deadly," Bratton added.
Guerra will be buried Monday after a funeral Mass at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 130 Beach 84th St., Rockaway Beach, at 11 a.m. Visitation is Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at James Romanelli-Stephen Funeral Home, 89-01 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park, Queens.
Guerra's death marks the NYPD's first line-of-duty fatality since December 2011, when Officer Peter Figoski of West Babylon was shot during a Brooklyn robbery.
Guerra leaves behind his wife, Cathy, and four children: Kathleen, 20; Jonathan, 17; Alyssa, 14; and Zachary, 7. Funeral arrangements were incomplete Wednesday, officials said.
Surveillance cameras showed that Guerra and Rodriguez, who officials said had never worked together before Sunday, were the first officers to respond to a 911 call of a fire in building. Both entered an elevator at 12:31 p.m. and a minute later faced a barrage of smoke that overcame them when the door opened on the 13th floor.
The NYPD issued new guidelines late Wednesday for officers responding to fires in elevator buildings.
A so called "Finest Message" sent to all commands tells officers they shouldn't all use the same elevator and stairwell in case of fire. Cops should walk up to a reported fire whenever possible but if elevators are used, they should take them at least two floors below the fire, the message stated.
With Maria Alvarez