Last night, a vigil was held for NYPD officer Brian Moore, who died two days after being shot in the head while working in Queens. Mourners gathered in Moore's hometown of Massapequa, Long Island, to pay tribute to the 25-year-old. His colleague, Detective Jason Caputo at the 105th Precinct, told NBC New York he was "a great cop and a great kid."
On Saturday evening, Moore and his partner, Sergeant Erik Jansen, 30, were both working in plainclothes and in an unmarked police cruiser in Queens Village when they noticed Demetrius Blackwell, 35, "adjusting his waistband." Moore reportedly identified himself as a cop and asked Blackwell from the car, "Do you have something in your waistband?" Blackwell allegedly responded, "Yeah, I got something," took the gun out and fired at the officers, hitting Moore.
Moore was shot in the left cheek, and then the bullet went through his head, exiting on the right side. He was put in a coma after surgery and had apparently been brain dead. His family took him off life support yesterday.
Blackwell, an ex-con, was arrested on Saturday night, after trying to blend in with onlookers watching the police respond to the shooting. He was charged with two counts of attempted murder, but now Queens DA Richard Brown says that one of the charges is upgraded to first-degree murder.
After two days of searching, police revealed they found the weapon that apparently killed Moore. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said they "recovered a Taurus Model 85 five-shot revolver in one of the backyards on 104th Road, which is where the shooting occurred. It is a Model 85. It has three spent rounds and two live rounds in its chamber - it’s a five-shot gun." The gun, Boyce said, was "under a box near a grill, a barbecue grill." He added that it was "stolen out of Perry, Georgia on October 3 of 2011, as part of 23 guns that were stolen at a bait and tackle shop down in Georgia. Nine of those guns have since found its way on the streets of New York and we’ve made arrests in regards."
A wake for Moore will be held on Thursday, with the funeral on Friday. Mayor de Blasio ordered flags be flown at half-staff at all city buildings until then, and Governor Cuomo also ordered that all state flags be flown at half-staff as well.