NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A sea of blue is descending on the Long Island community of Babylon this weekend as hundreds of police officers pay tribute to their fallen colleague, Peter Figoski, who was shot and killed last Monday while responding to a robbery in Brooklyn.
“We didn’t lose just a co-worker, we lost a dear friend. Everybody knew him. Guys are coming up me like it’s my loss. Yeah it is my loss because he was a best friend,” said Figoski’s ex-partner Ricky Giordano.
“He was a brother to me, but it was everyone who knew him’s loss, everybody who knew him’s loss. And you know what? Even the people that he didn’t get to know, with the younger cops, it’s their loss because they’ll never get to know him,” he added.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports
Officer Figoski was known as a devoted father to his four girls and a decorated member of the NYPD.
Figoski’s accused killers were officially indicted by a grand jury. The alleged gunman, Lamont Pride, is charged with first degree murder and his four alleged accomplices are charged with second degree murder.
“Each of one of them, each one of them is as guilty as the other in the killing of any New York City police officer,” said PBA president Pat Lynch.
As police officers filed inside, mourners applauded out of respect.
“He had a grin that just – he had a quiet confidence about him that just makes you feel like it was going to be alright, no matter how bad it was,” Giordano told CBS 2′s Ann Mercogliano.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly came to pay his respects as well.
“All indications are that Officer Figoski’s life really revolved around his four daughters,” Kelly said. “He never had a chance to defend himself. Never had the ability to take out his weapon. It’s always, always heartbreaking.”
Figoski’s brother-in-law, police officer Joe Reale, tells 1010 WINS that Figoski’s four daughters are inconsolable.
“You can’t prepare yourself for something like this,” he said. “He did everything for them. Whatever he could do, he did for them. Two of my nieces are very young. Children should not be going through this.”
Julia O’Handley came in support of her friend, Figoski’s youngest daughter.
“He did it doing something protecting us,” said “I’m going to give her a hug because it’s terrible.”
John Giangrasso is a cop who has been Figoski’s friend for years and he’s helping the family prepare for the funeral.
“Don’t have a bad word to say about Pete,” he said.
Donations have been pouring in to help Figoski’s children. The NYPD says $200,000 has been collected to benefit his four daughters, including $80,000 from the Silver Shield Foundation for the girls’ education.
The foundation offers funds and support to families of police officers, firefighters and state troopers killed in the line of duty.
Figoski’s wake will be held Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Claude R. Boyd/Spencer Funeral Home in Babylon on Long Island.
His funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Church in Babylon.
If you’d like to donate to the Police Foundation Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund, visit www.nycpolicefoundation.org.
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