BY JORDAN GIBBONS
On Monday afternoon, two days after being shot in Queens Village, NYPD Officer Brian Moore died after he was taken off life support at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Moore, 25, was an officer in the 105th Precinct and served on the force since 2010. Moore was a resident of Massapequa, his father and uncle are both retired NYPD sergeants.
At about 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, Moore was driving in an unmarked car with his partner Erik Jansen when they noticed a man walking and adjusting an object in his waistband around 212th Street and 104th Road.
The two officers questioned the man who then removed a firearm from his waistband and fired several times into the vehicle, striking Moore in the head. Jansen was not harmed in the shooting and radioed for assistance. Both officers were still sitting in the vehicle and did not have an opportunity to get out or return fire, according to Bratton’s statement during a press conference on Saturday.
Officers on the scene searched for the suspect for about 90 minutes before arresting him. He was identified as Demetrius Blackwell, an ex-con with an arrest record that includes criminal possession of a weapon and robbery.
Blackwell was charged Sunday morning, while Moore was still fighting for his life, with two counts of first-degree attempted murder on a police officer, one count of aggravated assault on a police officer, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree assault.
The NYPD reported that they found the weapon allegedly used in the crime in a backyard near the scene of the shooting. They traced the gun back to a Bait and Tackle Shop in Perry, Ga. The police say the gun was one of nearly two dozen – including nine others later found in the city – stolen from the shop in 2011.
The charges against Blackwell were upgraded to include a charge of murder in the first-degree, which carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday afternoon.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Moore’s family and his fellow officers,” Brown said. “Officer Moore’s death is a stark reminder of the dangers that our police officers face each day and the risks that they take as they carry out their sworn duty to keep our streets safe.”
Local elected officials released an outpour of support for the fallen officer:
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore. For five years, Brian served with distinction and he put his life on the line each day to keep us all safe,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “On Saturday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of New York City. During this tragic time, New Yorkers must come together to support the Moore family in any way we can, and on behalf of a grateful city, Chirlane and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family and to the entire NYPD family.”
“This was an unprovoked attack and cold-blooded murder of Police Officer Brian Moore, one of our City’s Finest, in the line of duty,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “It is to be condemned in every sense of the word, and the person responsible must be held fully accountable. Our officers deserve the utmost respect for their devotion and the very real dangers they face day-in and day-out in the selfless mission to protect our city.”
“As a community, we mourn the passing of Officer Brian Moore and are appalled by the act of violence that led to it,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller, who represents District 27 where the officer was shot. “Our community looks forward to working with law enforcement to combat violence against our officers and ensure that our streets are safe for all.”
At the 105th Precinct, mourners and several area residents placed flowers and lit candles in honor of Moore. The black and purple bunting hung over the precinct’s entrance, a somber tradition done at precinct houses where an officer is killed in the line of duty.
Brown announced on Wednesday that Blackwell is waiving his right to a speedy grand jury presentation.
Moore’s wake is scheduled to be held Thursday, 2 to 4:30 p.m.. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home, 20 Hicksville Rd. Bethpage and the funeral will be Friday at 11 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church, 80 Hicksville Rd. in Seaford. Moore will be laid to rest at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Suffolk County.
Reach Reporter Jordan Gibbons at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123, email@example.com or @jgibbons2.