NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A plaque was dedicated on Saturday to an NYPD sergeant killed in the line of duty exactly one year ago.
The panel unveiled at the 43rd Precinct describes Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo as a beloved father, husband, son, brother, and friend.
He was just that, especially father to his two young boys, Austin and Joseph, and husband to his wife, Lisa.
“My husband, my best friend, and the father of my children was fighting for his life on a dead end block in the Bronx,” Tuozzolo’s widow said, crying with their youngest son in her arms.
She described what it’s been like in the year since the brutal murder of her husband.
“When I put the boys to bed and I’m left all alone without my husband by my side, that’s when it’s the hardest,” she said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Lisa and her two boys for sharing their husband and father with the community.
“He showed that feeling, that sense that everyone was in this together. That’s how he served, that’s how he lived,” he said. “And he looked out for everyone else.”
The mayor and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill had to break the heart-wrenching news to Lisa at the hospital.
“At the time, it was these two strangers who changed my life and broke it like a vase,” she said, adding those strangers have now become her friends and the NYPD has given her the strength to get through each day. “Paul’s unexpected death has given me purpose.
“I want to ensure his story is always told to everybody — to police officers starting their careers, to seasoned veterans.”
Tuozzolo, who lived in Huntington with his family, was fatally shot in the head by an ex-con who police say had broken into a house looking for his estranged wife. His fellow officers say it was Tuozzolo’s warning before the deadly shot was fired that saved other officer’s lives.