Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will submit an indictment in federal court Tuesday against 34-year-old Demetrius Blackwell on charges of first degree murder of a police officer.
Blackwell is accused of shooting and killing 25-year-old Brian Moore on Saturday after he and his partner became suspicious when they spotted a bulge in his waistband and followed the suspect in their unmarked car.
Police recovered the murder weapon, officials said, a stolen gun that was traced to Georgia which they found at the scene of the crime with two bullets left inside the five-bullet chamber. Blackwell fired the weapon three times, according to Moore’s partner, who was sitting next to him when he was shot in the face and chest.
Moore was rushed to nearby Jamaica Hospital, where he underwent surgery for the wounds. But on Monday the severity of the damage proved too great, and his life slipped away.
“He was a quiet but sweet young man,” his neighbors in Massapequa, Long Island told Channel 7 Eyewitness News. Moore was unmarried and lived with his parents in a close-knit community where neighbors all knew each other for years.
At a news briefing, a clearly shaken Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told journalists in a choked voice, “Our city is in mourning… He was one of the finest among us; he made the ultimate sacrifice, just 25 years of age with a service record that proves it… He did everything a police officer was supposed to do, was awarded many times for valor” in his nearly five years of service on the force. In fact, Moore had a record of having already made 150 arrests in his brief career on the force.
Moore was, in fact, following in the footsteps of the men in his family. His father, uncle and several cousins who also serve as police officers. “His life was devoted to being a police officer — he wanted to be just as good as them,” family members told Bratton. “This is a family that has done so much for the rest of us,” the commissioner added, his voice lanced with pain.
“They are now feeling so much pain and loss… every member and former member of this department is feeling such loss and pain today.” Nevertheless, Bratton did not fail to thank the staff and physicians at Jamaica Hospital for doing “everything they knew how to do.”
Moore is the fifth NYPD cop to be shot in the line of duty in the past five months, and the third to die in that time.
In response to a question from a reporter who asked how Bratton responds to cops “on the job” when they’re upset — especially in light of recent events that have taken place in Baltimore and Ferguson — he replied:
“I’ve been doing this now for almost 50 years… and when I’m asked, ‘Why is it always the good ones?’ Well, maybe the reason is, it’s always the good ones because there are so many good ones.”
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who also spoke at the briefing, added, “We lost one of the best amongst us, a young man who was called to do good for others. This was his dream because he had seen such extraordinary examples in his own family…It’s a rare and special being who makes that decision [to put on the NYPD uniform] every day and who lives that out.”