Deon L. Taylor was killed in action Wednesday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Taylor, 30, joined the New York Police Department in 2005 and started in the transit bureau before being transferred to undercover work in the narcotics division.
"Like so many of his fellow officers, Deon Taylor courageously served his city at home and his nation abroad," Kelly said.
Taylor's uncle, NYPD Detective Mo Weathers, said Taylor wanted to serve his country and his city and was eager to work narcotics despite the difficulties of the job.
"He's a father, a brother, he's a son. A good person," Weathers said. "We're just holding onto God right now. We're in disbelief, in deep grief."
Taylor has an 8-year-old son, his uncle said.
Taylor grew up in the Bronx and graduated from the State University of New York's College at Old Westbury. He served four years in the Army before joining the police department.
"He wanted to help his community," Weathers said. "He helped his community and his country, and he gave his life for his country."
Taylor was activated by the U.S. Army National Guard and deployed to Afghanistan in January as a fire direction specialist in his second tour. He was set to return in December and planned to marry.
Police said 258 members of the NYPD are currently on military leave, many of them serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 5,200 people -- mostly militants -- have died in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan this year, according to an Associated Press count of figures from Western and Afghan officials.