What to Know
- Steven McDonald, 59, died Jan. 10, four days after suffering a heart attack at his Long Island home
- The hero cop was shot by a brazen teen in 1986 and became a paraplegic; he publicly forgave him and became an international voice for peace
- Thousands mourned him at a funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral earlier this month
The NYPD is classifying the death of hero detective Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed in a Central Park shooting three decades ago, as a homicide.
McDonald, 59, died Jan. 10, four days after suffering a heart attack at his Long Island home.
According to the Daily News, McDonald's death was caused by complications from the July 12, 1986 shooting that rendered him a quadriplegic. The paper said his death has been included in NYPD homicide statistics for 2017.
McDonald was on patrol in Central Park that July day when he spotted bicycle thief Shavod "Buddha" Jones and two other teenagers. When he moved to frisk one of them, the 15-year-old Jones shot McDonald three times, with one bullet piercing the officer's spinal column.
About six months later, McDonald made a statement that defined the rest of his life: "I forgive him and hope he can find peace and purpose in his life."
After Jones was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted murder, McDonald spoke of his hope that the pair would go on speaking tours together to offer a mutual message of peace. But shortly after Jones' release from prison in 1995, he died in a motorcycle accident.
McDonald went on to become an internationally renowned voice for peace.
Thousands of police officers and family members gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral earlier this month for McDonald's funeral.e was buried at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.