NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people attended a vigil Saturday night to celebrate the life of NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia who was shot and killed while on duty in the Bronx earlier this week.

“Miosotis was such a good person, a good mother, hardworking. She was so passionate about her work. She always was so happy to go to work,” her sister, Adriana Sanchez, said. “She was an exceptional person, and I know she’s up with God looking at us, and she’s seeing all of you, all the support she’s gotten from everybody.”

The service got underway around 8 p.m. outside the 46th Precinct, where Familia worked for 12 years.

There was a moment of silence, with candles lit and balloons released in her memory, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.

The 48-year-old police officer and mother of three was ambushed Wednesday morning as she sat in a mobile command unit. Police shot and killed the gunman, Alexander Bonds.

“We had to be here, because today we’re remembering a true American hero,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

“She owned the brightest smile of any cop in this city,” Inspector Philip Rivera added.

“She can never be forgotten by all citizens of this neighborhood and all New Yorkers,” said Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen.

The random attack hit home for many in the NYPD community, including the Cortes family.

“My dad’s a cop, so I know that what happened to this officer here today could happen to my dad,” Jaiden Cortes said.

“It’s important that we’re here to demonstrate to the community that we’re all in this thing together,” Officer J.W. Cortes added.

Locals told 1010 WINS’ Andrew Falzon they can’t believe it happened so close to home.

“It’s just devastating, sad, you to just see. It was overwhelming to realize that it was so close, it happened so close to home,” one woman said. “You just never know.”

“They go out and do a tough job every single day. And we as civilians need to back them up, give them all our support,” said Ophelia Long-Savoy, of Fordham.

Others remembered Familia as a fixture in the community.

“Everybody knew her around here. She was very dedicated, because she was a nurse — I understand that she was a nurse before,” a man said. “Everybody loved her around here.”

“The cops that are protecting us, they should be protected even more, because they’re protecting us,” Sanchez added.

Familia’s wake will be held Monday at World Changers Church on the Grand Concourse. Viewing will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The funeral service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the same church.

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