NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A wake was held Monday for NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, who was shot and killed last week in what police have called “an unprovoked attack” in the Bronx.
“There’s no words that are going to take away the grief and the pain and the suffering that they feel,” said Inspector Philip Rivera, Commanding Officer of the 46th Precinct.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, there was a salute earlier as the body of Officer Familia arrived at World Changers Church on the Grand Concourse.
Fellow officers stood at attention while her flag-draped casket was carried inside, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported. Outside, blue ribbons hang on trees up and down the Grand Concourse as the Bronx and the city prepares to say goodbye.
Altogether, thousands of community members, officers from around the country, and politicians turned out to pay their respects.
“It’s so sad getting killed like that, trying to protect the neighborhood and then getting murdered,” said resident Suzan Jones. “It’s very sad. It broke my heart because she has three babies.”
Julisa Flores, another officer from Familia’s precinct, spoke in Spanish.
“Officer Familia was a good mother, a good daughter, a good colleage,” Flores said in Spanish, “and above all, she was always a good person.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to the wake during the evening hours and said he spoke with Familia’s sisters and children.
“It’s hard to find the words. It’s senseless. It’s brutal. It’s violent,” Cuomo said. “Nothing at all to do with what the officer did; what their mother did. She was just a symbol and a target and it’s sad.”
“This act of madness was not only against her and her family — not only against the NYPD, but it was against all of us,” added Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also came to the evening portion of the visitation.
De Blasio also visited Familia’s grieving family Monday morning, fresh from a weekend trip to Germany. She leaves behind 12-year-old twins and a 20-year-old daughter
Officers from around the country stood in solidarity in front of the church during the wake.
Police officers from the Dominican Republic folded a Dominican flag and carried it inside the church. Familia was Dominican herself.
In the New York Post, the officer’s daughter spoke about her mom giving her a quick kiss and hug before leaving for what ended up being her final shift.
“I asked her if I could have another hug and she walked back over and hugged me really hard and we both told each other that we loved each other,” she said.
That was last Tuesday night. Early Wednesday morning as Officer Familia was sitting in an NYPD mobile command unit in Fordham, police say gunman Alexander Bonds approached and assassinated her, shooting her through the window.
Over the weekend, Officer Familia’s sister spoke at a crowded vigil outside the 46th Precinct where she worked.
“She was an exceptional person and I know she’s up with God looking at us, seeing all of you, all the support shes gotten from everybody,” she said.
Familia’s colleagues said she left behind an outstanding dedication to the job.
“You want to talk about the face of the Department, she should be on the recruitment posters with that smile,” Rivera said.
Familia’s fellow officers said it was the love they felt from everyone that was helping them cope with the pain.
“Coming together and the support we’re getting from the community and from random strangers, and from our brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community – that’s what’s getting us through this time,” Rivera said.
Familia’s funeral will be held at the same church at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced that it was donating $100,000 to Familia’s family and asked for additional donations to help support them. To make a donation, click here.