Updated 12/17/2011 04:47 PM
Community Gathers To Remember Slain NYPD Officer
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Friends and family of Officer Peter Figoski, who was allegedly murdered by suspects during a botched robbery Monday, are joining NYPD officials on Long Island this weekend for wake services.
The wake for Officer Peter Figoski began Saturday afternoon and will continue Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Claude R. Boyd/Spencer Funeral Home in Babylon.
Figoski's funeral is set for 11 a.m. Monday at the Parish of St. Joseph Church in Babylon, and thousands of officers are expected to attend.
Figoski was shot and killed Monday in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He was responding to a 911 call about a robbery at a basement apartment.
When police arrived, the alleged assailants were still inside the apartment. As the suspects attempted to escape, one of the men, Lamont Pride, allegedly shot Figoski in the face at close range.
"It is senseless, because here’s an officer taken from us in the prime of his life, killed for simply doing his job. He was responding to a call. He never had a chance to defend himself, never had the ability to take out his weapon,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Figoski died at Jamaica Hospital. He was a 22-year veteran of the police force working out of the busy 75th precinct in East New York, and he leaves behind four daughters.
Five men were arrested in the incident and have now been indicted on charges of second-degree murder. Pride is also charged with first-degree murder.
"When you carry a weapon, and you know the likelihood that the police are going to come, you see the police officers arrive at the scene, you hide, then you jump out and you pull the trigger, you've decided to kill a New York City police officer, whether you were holding that gun or you were helping the person that did,” said Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Police Collect 180 Guns In Brooklyn Buyback
Officials held a gun buyback program Saturday in the same neighborhood where Figoski lost his life.
“Very poignant, dramatic that the gun buyback was previously scheduled just a few blocks away from where Officer Figoski was killed. I just left that location. At that time, we were up to over 140 guns. The vast majority of them were handguns, which is really what we’re looking for,” said Kelly.
Officials later said 180 guns were collected in total.
The event was held at St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Highland Place in Cypress Hills.
Anyone who returned a working handgun received a $200 bank card, no questions asked.
A $20 bank card was given for any working rifle or shotgun.
The event was sponsored by the New York City Police Department, the Brooklyn district attorney, and Councilman Erik Dilan.
"A lot of these guns may have in the past been used in criminal activity, and people may not want to dispose of them in the proper way, so this will give us a chance to get these guns off the street,” said City Councilman Erik Dilan.
A buyback event in Brooklyn last month netted 85 guns.
More than 7,000 guns have been taken off the streets since the buybacks started in 2008.
According to Kelly, 90 percent of the guns taken off of the street in gun buyback programs come from outside of New York.