NEW YORK (AP) – A 25-year-old police officer shot in the head over the weekend while attempting to stop a man suspected of carrying a handgun died Monday from his injuries, the third New York City officer slain on duty in five months, Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Brian Moore, who was in a coma after undergoing brain surgery following the Saturday evening shooting, was pronounced dead at a Queens hospital with his family at his bedside, including a father, uncle and cousin who were police officers.
Dozens of uniformed officers stood at attention outside the medical center and lined up down the block to salute the ambulance carrying his body out.
“He proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Bratton said, noting he had made more than 150 arrests in less than five years on the job and earned meritorious service medals.
Moore and his partner were in plainclothes and in an unmarked police car when they approached Demetrius Blackwell in a quiet Queens neighborhood after they saw him adjusting his waistband, a move that made them suspicious he had a handgun, authorities said.
The officers pulled up next to Blackwell, 35, and exchanged words before the man suddenly turned, pulled out a weapon and fired at least twice at them, striking Moore in the head and face, according to court documents.
Blackwell has been charged with attempted murder and other crimes. He’s being held without bail and hasn’t entered a plea. His attorney has denied the charges.
It’s likely that the charges will be upgraded to murder.
“As a member of the NYPD, Officer Moore put the safety of his fellow New Yorkers before his own, and we will remember his service with gratitude and pride,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “I join with all New Yorkers in mourning his passing and send my deepest condolences to his friends and family.”