CYPRESS HILLS, NY (PIX11)—He was a father of four, and a well-decorated cop, but now NYPD Officer Peter Figoski is dead at 47, shot by an alleged robber. However, the 22-year veteran cop did not perish without his partner bullishly pursuing and nabbing the man who investigators say shot the officer. Meanwhile that suspect's alleged accomplice is on the loose.
Late Monday afternoon the NYPD released surveillance video of a man who they say worked with Lamont Pride, 27, to rob the basement apartment of 25 Pine Street in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, at around 2:15 A.M.
Police say the two men donned ski masks, then forced their way in, and then pistol-whipped and robbed the tenant. The landlord upstairs called police, and officers arrived before the two robbers could leave.
The suspects hid in the apartment, and when cops walked past them, the two men ran out, where Officer Figoski and his partner, Glenn Estrada, were standing guard as backup officers to the responding cops inside the apartment.
Police commissioner Ray Kelly described one of the alleged robbers, the man suspected of being Lamont Pride's accomplice as being Hispanic, in his late 20's and wearing a gray hoodie.
"Officer Estrada struggles with the Hispanic," Commissioner Kelly said "He hears a gunshot go off that hit Officer Fugoski."
That gunshot, investigators say, came from a stolen nine millimeter Ruger semiautomatic pistol. The shot hit Officer Fugoski in the left cheek, and exited through the base of his neck, according to the commissioner.
Investigators also say that Pride pulled the trigger, then took off running. At that point, cops say, Officer Estrada let go of the man he had tussled with, and ran after Pride.
Estrada ran south half a block, west two blocks and then another block south in pursuit of his suspect. Estrada nabbed him near the corner of Fulton and Chestnut Streets, where investigators found the pistol, which had jammed, as well as a black ski mask, both of which, they said, belonged to Pride. The man Estrada was wrestling at the time of the shooting fled the scene, but was later brought into custody -- along with a suspect accused of acting as a witness, according to sources.
"I want to commend Officer Estrada," Ray Kelly said at Jamaica Hospital, where the officer is being treated. "[He] had the presence of mind to focus on the man with the gun, and the courage to chase him down and capture him."
Kelly said that Pride had five unsealed prior arrests, including several for possessing and selling drugs. Pride was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault in North Carolina.
Police made it clear that they felt an abundance of evidence shows that Pride carried out this point-blank shooting murder of a father.
"Four daughters," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at Jamaica Hospital, where Figoski died after five hours of surgery failed to save the veteran cop's life. "Having to tell anyone," the mayor continued, "what happened to their father is hard for any mayor to do."
But people who live near the shooting scene, and who rely on police protection, drive home the tragedy.
"Four daughters?" neighbor Ramkumree Jacob said to PIX11 News as tears started streaming down her face. "I'm so sorry for him," Jacob said while walking with her grandson a half block from the shooting scene. Her four year-old grandson looked at her and asked, "Are you crying?"
She definitely was, and the reason, she told PIX11 News, was that her grandson insists that he wants to be a cop.
And now an actual cop, Peter Figoski, is gone, less than two weeks before Christmas. Mayor Bloomberg says that all flags at city offices will fly at half staff in Officer Fugiski's honor.