BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA
Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2:07 p.m.
The police officer who was shot while on patrol in Queens Village Saturday night died of his injuries Monday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
P.O. Brian Moore, 25, of the 105th Precinct, had reportedly been in a medically induced coma at Jamaica Hospital after complications from emergency surgery set in.
“He already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Bratton said of Moore, who had been on the force for just under five years. Bratton, speaking outside of Jamaica Hospital Monday afternoon, added that in that short time, Moore had made 150 arrests, winning various medals for meritorious service.
“We ask for the people of the city to pray for them,” Bratton continued, referring to Moore’s family, which includes his father and an uncle, both retired NYPD sergeants, and a cousin who is on the job.
Moore was behind the wheel of an unmarked police car when was shot by the alleged gunman, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place in Queens Village.
Authorities said Moore and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, pulled up to Blackwell at the corner of 212th Street and 104th Road at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and questioned him after observing him motioning toward his waistband as if handling a firearm.
Upon questioning Blackwell, the suspect allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at the car, striking Moore in the face and head.
Jansen, who was uninjured, radioed for assistance. A responding patrol car rushed Moore to Jamaica Hospital. Though he was listed as being in critical but stable condition as of Sunday, his condition reportedly worsened thereafter.
Police tracked down Blackwell at his home Saturday night, a few hours after the shooting took place. The weapon believed to have been used in the shooting, a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011, was recovered by officers in Queens Village Monday.
As of Monday morning, Blackwell was currently being held without bail on first-degree attempted murder and other charges. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced later that afternoon that the charges against Blackwell will be upgraded as a result of Moore’s death to first-degree murder.
According to the NYPD, a wake for Moore, who resided in Massapequa, Long Island, will be held on Thursday at the Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. His funeral will take place the following day, at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, Long Island, at 11 a.m.
On Monday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on all city buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs until Moore is laid to rest. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also ordered flags on all state government buildings to fly at half-staff.
This is the first line-of-duty homicide that the NYPD suffered since December, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot on a Brooklyn street. Their killer took his own life moments after the shooting.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore,” de Blasio said in a statement. “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.”
President Obama — in Manhattan Monday for an address at Lehman College — also mourned the officer’s death.
“He came from a family of police officers,” Obama was quoted in The New York Times. “And the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers, not just today but every day. They’ve got a tough job.”