Fellow Officer Describes Finding Body In Alleged Cop Killers’ Trial
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A fellow officer described the gruesome discovery of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski’s body Tuesday, as the trial of the two men charged with Figoski’s murder continued in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Lamont Pride and Michael Velez are charged in Figoski’s murder.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, on Tuesday, Police Officer Mario Gandini described the shock of discovering Figoski’s body face down and bleeding from the head, after Figoski had volunteered to come in as backup for the officers responding to a burglary in progress.
Officer Figoski had been ambushed and killed the minute he came down the steps to the basement apartment at 25 Pine St. in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.
The scene was confusing. Officer Gandini was trying to sort out the victims from the offenders when he spotted the body of the fatally-wounded police officer, a revolver in his holster.
“Then I realized it was Officer Figoski,” said Gandini. “He was the only one who would back us up with a revolver.”
Gandini explained that the only police officers who still carry revolvers, rather than the newer 9mm Glocks, are officers with more than 20 years on the force.
“That is how I knew it was Pete,” he said.
On Monday, jurors were shown crime scene photos of the basement where Figoski was shot and killed. They were also shown the alleged murder weapon, a 9mm Ruger pistol. Prosecutors said the gun was found underneath a vehicle near the scene.
According to the court papers, Pride told officers that the gun went off accidentally and he wasn’t intending to fire.
“Mr. Pride did not intentionally kill a police officer,” defense attorney Christopher Wright said.
Jurors also saw surveillance video showing two men running from the scene with Figoski’s partner chasing after them.
Police said Velez drove to the apartment and waited outside during the robbery.
A third suspect, identified as Ariel Tejada, is expected to testify against the defendants in exchange for reduced jail time.
Two other suspects in the case have pleaded not guilty. They have yet to stand trial.
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