BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Family, friends and police officers from all of the world gathered Thursday at a Long Island funeral home to pay their respects to NYPD Officer Brian Moore.
The 25-year-old officer died Monday, two days after he was shot in the head in Queens.READ MORE: NYPD: Officer Shot 3 Times In Brooklyn, Suspect Shot By Police; Both Hospitalized
Blue ribbons hang outside Fredrick J. Chapey and Sons Funeral Home on Hicksville Road in Bethpage, where thousands are offering their condolences at the wake for Moore.
The line started forming in the morning, a powerful show of support from law enforcement and leaders, CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, most of the mourners who turned out Thursday night had never met Moore. But as first responders, they felt they knew him and owed him a show of respect.
Some New Hampshire state troopers drove five hours to salute their fallen comrade.
“What we’re working for, and what we represent, because that brotherhood and that bond,” said New Hampshire State Police Trooper Jordan Kopko. “We may not know any of the officers here, but again, that brotherhood does bring us all together.
Mayor Bill de Blasio paid a long visit Thursday evening, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to pay his final respects to the slain officer in the morning.
“To see a young man struck down at such an early age … he was trying to do the right thing. His father was a police officer, he wanted to be a police officer like his dad,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he spoke to Moore’s retired sergeant father, knowing what was like to follow in his own father’s footsteps, Rincon reported.
“To the extent that can comfort a parent, what I would like to hear is, ‘Boy your child must have really loved and respected you.'”
Also in attendance were hero Detective Steven McDonald, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Karen Schmelzer – who is the mother of an NYPD officer.
“I’m the mother of a New York City police officer, and that’s what I’m here for,” she said. “Mothers have to stand together.”
Janel Crummy has lived next door to the Moore family for 20 years. She too came to pay her respects Thursday.
“Just really no words. What do you say? I mean the tremendous show of support is just amazing. I mean we were talking to sheriffs from Louisiana that came up,” Crummy said.
The family of Wenjian Liu – one of the officers who were shot and killed execution-style in Brooklyn on Dec. 20 – also attended. His widow, Pei Xia Chen, wiped away tears even before she entered the Chapey Funeral Home.
The head of Nassau County’s police officer’s union asked all officers who could show up to be there, to show support for the NYPD, Rincon reported.
“And more importantly, to the Moore family to know that their family which is centered around law enforcement and public servants, knows that we’re all behind them at this time,” said Nassau PBA President James Carver.READ MORE: New York City Begins Offering Pfizer Vaccine To Kids Ages 12-15 After CDC Approval
“Once again we would like to thank you for all of your love, support and generosity during this unforeseen tragedy,” Moore’s family said in a statement to all mourners Thursday.
Moore’s commanding officer Deputy inspector Mike Coyle said Moore was someone who could turn your day around if you were having a bad day, Rincon reported.
“For me personally it’s a tremendous loss. And for the men and women of the 105 precinct, we’re all heartbroken today,” said Coyle.
Coyle offered praise that wold make any father proud.
“He was every commanding officer’s dream,” he said. “If I had an army of Brian Moores, there’d be no crime in the city.”
Moore’s wake was held on the same day the NYPD marked Police Officers Memorial Day. The names of 18 fallen NYPD officers were inscribed on a wall in the department’s Hall of Heroes at police headquarters Thursday.
“Thank God that we have men and women, thousands of them, who are willing to come into this profession as your loved ones did,” Bratton told the families of the fallen officers, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
The names included those of Liu and Officer Rafael Ramos, who were killed in Bedford-Stuyvesant just before Christmas; Officer Dennis Guerra, who died last year from injuries after responding to a fire in Coney Island; and Officer Michael Williams, who died in a police van accident while on the job.
The names of 14 men and women whose deaths within the last few years have been linked to 9/11 related illnesses were also added to the wall, Rincon reported.
The ceremony began with a moment of silence for Moore, whose name will be added to the wall next year, Rincon reported.
“Each story involved courage and sacrifice by definition,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It takes a special person to have that kind of strength, it takes a special person to run towards danger. The human impulse is to run away from danger, those who don this uniform run toward danger each and every day.”
Moore was killed last Saturday afternoon when 35-year-old Demetrius Blackwell fired a gun as Moore and his partner approached him in an unmarked car in Queens Village, police said.
According to investigators, the gun was one of 23 stolen from a store in Georgia in 2011. Nine of those weapons have since turned up in New York City.
On Wednesday, the NYPD confirmed that two of the bullets recovered from Moore’s police car matched the weapon recovered near the scene of his shooting.
Charges against Blackwell will be upgraded to first-degree murder, which, if he’s convicted, carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Meanwhile, the Empire State Building was lit up in purple and blue Thursday night in honor of police officers killed in the line of duty.
Moore’s funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.MORE NEWS: After More Than A Year, The Show Must Go On: More Broadway Shows Announce Plans To Resume Performances
Farmingdale schools will also be closed Friday due to Moore’s funeral and multiple road closures will be in effect throughout the area.