Mass for NY police officer shot in botched robbery

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2011 3:01 AM
Mass for NY police officer shot in botched robbery

A New York police officer killed during a botched robbery in Brooklyn was being laid to rest Monday in his Long Island community _ a veteran with 12 medals and more than 200 career arrests.

A funeral Mass for Peter Figoski, a 47-year-old father of four, was scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. in Babylon.

Hundreds paid tribute to the slain officer over the weekend at his wake.

Among them was New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who said the life of the divorced officer appeared to revolve around his daughters, and that the family was "heartbroken."

The 22-year NYPD veteran lived in West Babylon.

A member of the New York Police Department's 75th Precinct in the East New York neighborhood, Figoski was shot in the face last Monday while responding to a report of a break-in a Brooklyn apartment.

Lamont Pride and four others are accused of trying to rob a marijuana dealer in the basement apartment. When they smashed in the door and began beating the dealer, the upstairs owner of the home called 911.

Figoski and his partner were providing backup to two officers questioning the victim and two suspects in the apartment when Pride and another man tried to flee, police said. During a struggle between the officer's partner and one of the suspects, Figoski came face-to-face with Pride, who police said shot him once in the face with a semiautomatic handgun before Figoski could draw his own weapon.

His partner pursued Pride on foot and captured him several blocks away, police said.

Pride is charged with first-degree murder. The other four are charged with second-degree murder.

Prosecutor Kenneth Taub said the five _ all jailed without bail _ had plotted to "commit a home invasion of a small-time marijuana dealer." He called Pride the "muscle of the organization" and said the defendant "made a choice to end the officer's life rather than be arrested."

Pride was already wanted in a non-fatal shooting in North Carolina but remained on the streets because arrest warrants didn't require his return there, NYPD officials said.

He had been arrested twice in recent months in New York for weapons and drug possession. Each time, he was released after police found they had no grounds to hold him under the North Carolina warrants, Kelly said.

Pride also served a short prison term in North Carolina for robbery.

The officer leaves four daughters: Carolyn, 16, and Corrine, 14, both in high school, and Christine, 20, and Caitlyn, 18, who are in college upstate.