NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Distraught family and friends said goodbye to Noel Polanco, 22, at a wake in Rego Park Wednesday evening.
Polanco’s mother hovered over her son’s open casket, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports
Polanco’s sister Amanda said her brother was her role model.
“He would help me with relationship problems. He would help me going through the death of my father. And now, it’s just me and my mom,” she told Haskell. “He was always a person if you needed a helping hand, if you needed advice he would sit down and take his time and help you pull through, no matter how bad the situation was.”
The former Army National Guardsman will be buried in his uniform. Fellow Guardsman Terrence Tyson said it is hard saying goodbye to his friend.
“Mr. Polanco was a very good guy, a very good soldier,” Tyson told Haskell.
The fatal shooting occurred on Oct. 4 at about 5:15 a.m. near Exit 7 at LaGuardia Airport.
Police said Polanco was driving his 2012 Honda Fit erratically when he was pulled over and shot by a 39-year-old detective who has been on the force for 14 years. That detective fired one round, striking Polanco in the stomach and killing him.
As two unmarked Emergency Service Unit Apprehension Team vans were heading eastbound in the center lane, the vehicle being driven by Polanco cut in between the vehicles and then started tailgating another car, according to police.
When Polanco cut in between the ESU vans a second time, the officers pulled him over with one ESU van pulling in front and the second pulling up behind him, according to police.
That’s when a sergeant and a detective, who were both in uniform, got out and walked up to Polanco’s car.
A passenger in Polanco’s car said he had his hands on the steering wheel the whole time, but police said the responding officers said they thought Polanco was reaching for something.
No weapon was found in the car.
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