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Trial begins in killing of NYPD Officer

January 24, 2013 2:18:31 PM PST
The family of Officer Peter Figoski had to be escorted from the courtroom on Thursday morning. One of his daughters nearly fainted and his ex-wife was in tears as they heard prosecutors outline the final moments of a decorated cop's heroic life.

"Every day's a hard day. Today is especially hard. They have to sit through the story being told in a dramatic fashion of how this mope took their father their son, their husband and friend of the face of the earth," Pat Lynch, PBA, said.

Figoski, a 22 year NYPD veteran, died in a dingy basement stairwell in East New York on a cold night in December 2011.

As he and his partner responded to a crime in progress, Figoski found himself in a life or death struggle with a career criminal named Lamont Pride, who was trying to escape an apartment police say he had just robbed. In his hand was an illegal gun with a round already chambered.

"He runs heading up stairs. Heading for freedom and what he encounters is Pete Figoski. He intended to kill Pete Figoski because that was the only way he was going to make his escape," Ken Taub, Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney, said.

Pride confessed on tape to shooting the officer as the two scuffled on the ground. But before jurors this morning, his attorney insisted the shooting was an accident as Figoski reached for Pride's gun.

"His intent was to flee. His intent was to run away. His intent was not to cause death of police officer," Christopher Wright said.

Cops say pride was the trigger man in a gang of five men who made a living robbing drug dealers, like the one they'd targeted that night, demanding cash and pot.

Prosecutors also opened their case against accused getaway driver Michael Velez before a courtroom packed with an army in blue.

"You pulled a gun, you pulled a trigger and you killed a great man. Now these other great men and women will sit in that courtroom to make sure justice is done," Taub said.

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