The NYPD is mourning the loss of one of their own. Officer Peter Figoski, a 22-year veteran of the department, died Monday morning after suffering a single gunshot wound to the face while investigating a robbery in progress in a basement apartment in Brooklyn.
The 47-year-old father of four was called in as backup when cops responded to a 911 call to a robbery in the apartment of 25 Pine Street in the Cypress Hills, near the Brooklyn/Queens borough border, at about 2:15 a.m. Monday.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the first officer arrived on the scene and found a 25-year-old tenant, who works at a local bodega, lying in the floor with a head injury. He was transported to Brookdale Hospital.
The tenant has heard pounding on the basement door and went to investigate. He encountered the two suspects, who claimed to be police officers. The pair demanded money and jewelry and struck the tenant in the head with the firearm. According to the tenant, the suspects made off with a cheap watch and $770 in cash.
According to police, the two suspects tried to escape though a rear door after the robbery but could not get out, so they hid in an adjacent room as police officers walked by and entered the basement apartment according to the commissioner.
Kelly said at that point, the suspects tried to flee but ran into the back-up cops. Figoski was at the bottom of the stairs where one suspect allegedly fired a single shot striking the officer in the cheek. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he later died.
According to the commissioner, Figoski's partner Glen Estrada was struggling with another suspect when he heard the shot and saw the gunman run by him.
Kelly says Officer Estrada released the man he was struggling with and pursued the gunman capturing him several blocks away at the corner of Fulton and Chestnut Streets. The suspect is identified as 27-year-old Lamont Pride of Coney Island.
At a press briefing at the hospital, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called him a "career criminal" with numerous drug arrests and an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault in North Carolina on his record
Estrada suffered a sprained shoulder while subduing the Pride and was treated at Jamaica Hospital..
A semi-automatic pistol was recovered near the scene, underneath a parked car.
"A silver 9mm Ruger semi-automatic pistol was recovered under a parked car on Chestnut Street near Fulton Street," said Kelly. "It appears that one round had been discharged from the weapon. The shell casing had stove-piped, or jammed, in the chamber of the gun. Ten live cartridges remained in its magazine."
A ski mask was also found about 15-feet away from the weapon.
The second suspect is still on the loose.
Cops describe him as a Hispanic man between 25- to 30-years-old and about 5'9" to 5'10" tall. He was last seen wearing grey sweatpants, white sneakers and black hoodie. Police say he fled on foot northbound on Pine Street.
"Officer Figoski has been an active police officer with over 200 arrests, nearly half felony arrests," said Kelly. "He has 12 medals awarded, including 8 for exceptional police duty. We are all praying for him."
Anyone with any information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. Tipsters can also submit information at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting CRIMES (274637) then entering TIP577. All calls are confidential.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun