NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An emotional ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Queens at the renovated family home of a murdered NYPD detective.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation raised money to make over Detective Rafael Ramos‘s Ridgewood Avenue home in Cypress Hills, where his widow and their two young sons will live.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” the detective’s sister, Sindy Ramos, said. “From bad came good and we have a beautiful home now, but there’s always gonna be something missing. He would be so happy.”
“It’s an unbelievably emotional day,” foundation founder Frank Siller said. “You run the full gamut, you have the highs and you have the very lows on a day like today.”
The house has a brand new kitchen, two fireplaces and three-and-a-half baths.
“The Ramos family really appreciates everything that America has done for them. And we thank you,” widow Maritza Ramos told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
The foundation raised more than $1 million to help the families of Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu. The money was also used to renovate the Liu family home, and pay off the mortgages on both houses.
“It was not just from the New York and Tri-State area, it was from every state across this country. Over 10,000 people donated to this great cause,” Siller added.
In December 2014, Liu and Ramos were fatally shot inside their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, killed himself shortly after the brazen daytime ambush.
Investigators say Brinsley was an emotionally disturbed loner who had made references online to the killings of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers, vowing to put “wings on pigs.”
The ceremony comes after five Dallas officers and three Baton Rouge officers were murdered earlier this month. Both widows wanted those families to know they are not alone in their grief.