Yesterday, five men were indicted for the killing of police officer Peter Figoski, who was shot in the face while responding to a Brooklyn home invasion on Monday. Lamont Pride, the alleged shooter, was charged with first-degree murder, while Michael Velez, Nelson Morales, Kevin Santos, and Ariel Tejada were charged with second-degree murder.
It's believed Morales was the ringleader and that the five men conspired to rob a man who lived in a Cypress Hills basement apartment on Pine Street. The Post, which says the robbery target was a "known pot dealer," reports that Pride and Santos allegedly pistol-whipped the man:
The crew then grabbed more than $700 cash and a cheap wristwatch before starting to flee. The landlord called 911 and two cops arrived at around 2:15 a.m., followed closely by Figoski and his partner Glenn Estrada, 42.
As Pride and Santos hid in a storage room in the basement, the first two officers found the bloodied tenant along with Tejada and Morales — who posed as neighbors who had raced over to help.
But cops got suspicious because the two men began describing — a little too well — the weapons used in the heist.
As the cops were talking to the trio, Pride and Santos slipped out of their hiding space and ran into Estrada and Figoski, police said.
While Estrada struggled with Santos, Pride shot Figoski in the face with the 9mm and ran off, police said.
Velez, the alleged getaway driver, left the scene when police cars boxed his vehicle in: "Cops were able to find Velez — who was busted at his cousin’s home — after finding a surveillance video that showed him getting into the livery cab, which had a triangular sticker on it, sources said."
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said, "Today as we sit in this courtroom and we witness evil get indicted, the family of our hero police officer is now at a funeral parlor viewing the body... Whether you were holding that gun or you were helping the person that did, they decided they wanted to get away and they would kill a New York City police officer to do it."
This weekend is a wake for Figoski and Monday will be his funeral. Mayor Bloomberg says members of Congress who oppose gun control should go to the funeral and see the suffering in the faces of Figoski's four daughters. Support has been pouring out for the slain cop's daughters, ages 14 to 20, with over $500,000 raised so far for their scholarship fund. If you want to donate, here are the details.