The 25-year-old anti-crime police officer who was shot in the face on Saturday remains in critical condition. Officer Brian Moore is apparently in a medically-induced coma after he was shot in the cheek—the bullet exited out of the other side of his head. A police source tells the Daily News the young officer's condition has grown "increasingly dire." Update [more details below]: Officer Moore has succumbed to his injuries.
The News' source said, "I heard the officer suffered a brain bleed last night; he isn’t in good shape."
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 4, 2015
According to the authorities, Moore and his partner, Sergeant Erik Jansen, 30, both working in plainclothes and in an unmarked police cruiser, had noticed Demetrius Blackwell, 35, "adjusting his waistband" in Queens Village around 6:15 on Saturday. 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.
When responding officers flooded the neighborhood, witnesses say that Blackwell sat amongst neighbors. From the Post:
“He was hanging out for an hour and a half, smoking cigarettes and talking like everything was normal,” said pal André Tucker, 26. “He said, ‘Yeah, I heard a cop got shot.’”...
A woman in her 30s, who also lives in the home at 104-25 212th Place, said Blackwell, 35, “was standing outside with a group of us’’ minutes after the shooting. “He acted like nothing happened,’’ she said...
Both of Blackwell’s buddies said the suspect was among about 10 people chatting outside their home when cops first came by and ordered everyone inside. After the police told them all to get off the street, “we went up to the second floor to film [what was happening] with our phones,” Tucker said. “[Blackwell] stayed on the first floor, in the kitchen.”
About a half-hour later, “we were looking out the windows, and the cops told us to come outside,” Tucker added. “They made us come out one by one, yelling, ‘Announce yourself as you come out!’
“Demetrius didn’t come out with us because he was on the first floor,’’ Tucker said. “He came out a little later, in handcuffs.”
Blackwell, who has previous convictions, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and now faces life in prison.
A retired police detective who work in East Flatbush, Michael Reiter, told the NY Times, "When you’re grabbing a guy who has a gun, who’s wanted, he might not want to go back to jail. They’d rather shoot it out."
Blackwell reportedly bragged to officers who took him into custody, "They also call me ‘Hell-Raiser’ on the street." He is being held without bail.
Moore's father is a retired NYPD police officer, as is his uncle. PBA president Patrick Lynch added, "His cousins are all police officers currently both in our great city and in the towns out east on Long Island as well. They're folks that dedicated themselves to service. This shouldn't have happened to a police officer like this."
Update: Numerous outlets are reporting the Moore died from his injuries. The Post says that his family took him off life support.
Earlier today, Police Commissioner Bratton arrived at Jamaica Hospital to speak with Moore's family:
— Rocco Vertuccio (@RoccoNY1) May 4, 2015
On Saturday night, Mayor de Blasio had said that Moore was "a brave young man. As you heard, he comes from a police family. This is what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a New York City police officer. He wanted to serve and he did so with great distinction." He added, "It’s a reminder of the dangers that all of our officers face every single day. But they are dedicated. They swore an oath, and they live up to that oath - men and women who go out every day and put their lives on the line. This was an unconscionable act of violence, not just against one police officer, but against the city of New York and against the values we hold dear."
Officer Brian Moore died protecting this wonderful city. We mourn his loss and thank all the women and men who put it all on the line.
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) May 4, 2015
Update 3:45 p.m.: Mayor de Blasio issued this statement, "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. 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."