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Kelly: Four Will Face Murder Charges In Death Of NYPD Officer

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TWC News: Kelly: Four Will Face Murder Charges In Death Of NYPD Officer
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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday that four suspects arrested in Monday's fatal shooting of a Brooklyn police officer will face murder charges.

During a press conference, Kelly confirmed five people in total are in custody and that charges are pending.

According to police, Lamont Pride, 27, Nelson Moralez, 27, Ariel Tejada, 22, and Kevin Santos, 30, were robbing the home of a suspected drug dealer early Monday morning when Officer Peter Figoski and his partner arrived on the scene.

The police commissioner said that Tajada and Morales initially posed as Good Samaritans when officers first arrived. According to Kelly, the tenant, who had been pistol-whipped and robbed, didn't contradict them.

Kelly said Pride shot Figoski, 47, in the face and took off.

Figoski's partner chased Pride down and arrested him.

The others were apprehended in the hours following.

"One shooting is one too many," said Kelly. "In the case of Officer Figoski, it robbed his daughters of a caring father and this department and East New York of a great police officer."

The fifth man, Michael Velez, 21, is accused of driving the getaway car.

Kelly said all five men have criminal records and that Pride made statements implicating himself as the gunman.

He was expected to be arraigned early Tuesday evening.

Investigators say Pride had 10 prior arrests and an outstanding warrant for his arrest for his alleged involvement in the shooting of a man in North Carolina.

He was arrested several times in New York alone, most recently on drug charges in Brooklyn on November 3.

"This judge did not look at the complete history of this perp. A history of violent crime, a warrant in North Carolina. That alone was enough to remand this person to prison, and she chose to release him of his own recognizance. That means that he's allowed to go back out on the street and commit crimes," said Pat Lynch, PBA President.

"At the time of the arrest in early November, that warrant was very explicit. It said extradition within the state of North Carolina only, meaning they didn't really want him back at that time if he was arrested somewhere else. For the court to consider a warrant like that, it makes no sense," said David Bookstaver of the Office of Court Administration.

Neighbors Remember Figoski

Officer Figoski, who lived in West Babylon, NY, leaves behind four daughters.

He was assigned to Brooklyn's 75th precinct.

Neighbors who spoke with reporters Monday say they are distraught.

"A very good neighbor, you know, we'd always wave to each other and I always felt I could knock on his door if I needed something," said one neighbor.

"My jaw dropped to my knees, I just...I was in shock about it, I couldn't believe it. It's just not right that a family man has to go this way," said another.

Figoski was a 22-year veteran of the force who made more than 200 arrests in his career.

A wake will be held this weekend at a funeral home on Long Island.

The funeral will then be on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Parish of St. Joseph in Babylon.

The New York City Police Foundation has also set up a college fund for Figoski's four daughters.

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