Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Five Suspects Indicted On Murder Charges In Fatal Shooting Of NYPD Officer

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TWC News: Five Suspects Indicted On Murder Charges In Fatal Shooting Of NYPD Officer
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Five men were indicted on murder charges Friday in connection with the shooting death of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, and all of them are being held without bail. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Although accused shooter Lamont Pride was the first person to be apprehended in this case Monday, all five men were eventually taken into custody and arraigned together on Tuesday night.

They appeared together again in Brooklyn criminal court Friday for the unsealing of the indictments. Each defendant has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of NYPD Officer Figoski. They did not enter pleas and are all being held without bail.

Police say all five men had criminal records prior to the robbery they allegedly planned and then carried out early Monday morning.

"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," said Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Authorities say the defendants planned to rob a marijuana dealer who lived in a basement apartment in Cypress Hills. They pistol-whipped him, stealing cash and a watch. Lamont Pride and Kevin Santos hid in another room when police arrived.

Investigators say Pride shot Figoski during an escape attempt.

"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,” said Lynch.

Michael Velez, who has reportedly admitted to driving the getaway car, told the Daily News he had no idea the four men he drove to the scene were going to commit a robbery. He admits he saw Pride brandishing a gun.

Marvin Weinroth, an attorney for Velez, was furious that a Daily News reporter was able to get into Rikers Island and speak with his client.

“The individual identified himself, said he had a legal background, said my client was innocent, and that he wanted to bring my client's innocence out into the public," said Weinroth.

A spokesman for the City Department of Correction said "The reporter did not break any laws. The inmate is an adult and chose to speak with the reporter."

The wake for Officer Figoski will be held Saturday and Sunday. Thousands of officers are expected to attend his funeral Monday. He leaves behind four daughters.

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