Slain NYPD Cop Remembered at Vigil: “He Was a Great Cop, a Great Kid”

The NYPD officer who died after being shot in the head in Queens was a Long Island native who came from a family of cops and fulfilled his own dream of joining the NYPD, friends and neighbors said. 

Brian Moore, the 25-year-old son of a now-retired NYPD veteran, grew up and lived in Massapequa. He graduated from Plainedge High School, where thousands packed the bleachers and football field Monday night to remember him. 

Moore's family, wearing NYPD shirts and hats, attended the vigil. Some fought back tears as one person after another offered condolences. 

"He was always laughing, keeping everybody in a good mood," said friend and NYPD Officer Aaron Lohman, who works in the 113th Precinct. 

Detective Jason Caputo, who worked with Moore in the 105th Precinct, said he was "a great cop and a great kid." 

"He was a very nice man, very eager," said Caputo. 

Attendees said they were proud to be part of a community that could support each other in a tragedy that's hit close to home for many in an area filled with police families. 

"I think there should be 100,000 signs supporting the police. I don't think there's enough support," said John Mangan, who was holding a "God Bless the NYPD" sign that he said he took to the funerals for slain NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu last December. "I just wanted to come and show my support for the family and policemen and women who do a hard job every day."

Caputo said, "I've been on the job for 11 years, and I've already been to too many funerals. I don't want to go to anymore." 

Earlier, a line of Nassau police officers stood by in silence as Moore's family returned to the home hours after his death.

"This is just a horrible day," one family friend said in tears as she dropped off flowers at the Moores' doorstep, one of the many neighbors and colleagues making small gestures to help the family cope with a devastating loss. 

Another friend, Eileen Vanwie, placed blue ribbons near her neighbors' homes Monday.

"Blue lives matter," she said. "It's time to focus on police and all things good. It's time for good." 

"It's terrible. Unfortunately, it's something that can happen to anybody at any point," said NYPD officer Danny Roberts, who worked with Moore at the 105th Precinct, after dropping off flowers. "Sometimes you just never know."

Bill Bowersox couldn't hide the anger mixing with his sadness.

"He's trying to do the right thing, he comes from a family of law enforcement and this is how it ends up," he said. "This is, in my opinion, ridiculous." 

The Massapequa street of North Boston Avenue has dealt with an eerily similar loss before. In 1988, Eddie Byrne, an NYPD officer, was shot and killed in his patrol car in Queens. Byrne lived just down the street from Moore, and also worked out of the 105th Precinct. 

Caputo had built a replica of Byrne's squad car in honor of the officer; on Monday night, it was brought in to honor Moore.

"It hurts. I built this car for Eddie, I moved to this neighborhood not knowing he was from here, and now this," said Caputo.  

Neighbors knew the Moores as a police family. In addition to his father, Moore's uncle was also a retired NYPD officer and his cousins are currently officers.

Family friend Kelli Smeltz said, "Being the daughter of a police officer, it's my worst nightmare, not knowing if he would come home, putting his life on the line for other people."

"My prayers are with them, my entire family's prayers are with them," she said.

Moore died Monday afternoon after being taken off life support at Jamaica Hospital two days after the shooting in Queens Village. Moore had been put in a medically induced coma and had undergone surgeries for "severe injuries to his skull and brain."

Moore proved himself an exceptional officer since joining the force in 2010, making 150 arrests and winning four medals for his police work, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

"It's a great loss to his family, a great loss to the department and a great loss to his profession and his city," Bratton said.  

Gov. Cuomo ordered flags on all state government buildings to be flown at half-staff Tuesday in Moore's honor. They will remain at half-staff until he is buried.

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