Miosotis Familia, the 48-year-old NYPD officer murdered early Wednesday morning, was a mother of three who came to policing relatively later in life.
Familia was shot and killed while sitting in a marked NYPD command vehicle with her partner in the Bronx Wednesday morning, in what police officials call an unprovoked attack.
A member of the 46th Precinct and a 12-year veteran of the force, Familia did not join the NYPD until 2002, when she was in her mid-30s. (The department has said the average age of new recruits is 26.)
At some point, she left the academy for personal reasons, working in the medical field for a period of time before rejoining the NYPD, a law enforcement official said. A LinkedIn profile matching the slain officer's details indicates Familia was a nurse for five years before joining the force.
She spent her entire NYPD career in the Bronx precinct, where she worked the midnight shift. The command post had been set up since March, following a triple shooting, and was manned around the clock.
"Fully knowing the dangers that she faced, she suited up in uniform everyday and stood tall against those who threaten and terrorize the good folks of the Bronx," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement.
In Pictures: Police Officer Shot and Killed in the Bronx
With her death, Familia becomes one of the few female officers to be killed in the line of duty. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, just six of the 135 officers killed in the line of duty nationwide last year were women.
A friend of Familia told News 4 she'd just spoken to her days ago. They both had twins, and their children often played together. Her twins are 12 years old, and she also has a 20-year-old child, a law enforcement official said.
"She asked me how my daughter's doing, how's my little one. And I said she's fine," said Altagaraca Nivr. "And I said, 'You're not in court no more?' And she said, 'No, I'm going back to precinct.' And I said, 'Good, I'm glad you're going to be closer to where you live.'"
Nivr said Familia didn't talk about her job often but she loved it. A law enforcement official said she always wanted to be a police officer.
Purple bunting was hung outside the NYPD 46th Precinct stationhouse as officers and neighbors mourned Familia. Some officers were visibly distraught, crying and hugging one another.
Mourners gathered at a growing memorial outside the precinct on Wednesday night.
"Beautiful person with everybody, with the prisoners, with coworkers," said J. Rodriguez, who worked with Familia. "Very humble, very happy."