Family members, colleagues remember NYPD officer killed in the line of duty

Thursday, July 06, 2017 04:39PM
Darla Miles reports on the loved ones who remembered the NYPD officer killed in the Bronx.

TREMONT, Bronx - Family members and colleagues are remembering a beloved NYPD officer who was killed in the line of duty.

A vigil for Officer Miosotis Familia was held in the Bronx neighborhood where she lived, and a memorial is growing at the 46th Precinct.

Officer Familia was fatally shot while in the police command post parked at the intersection of East 183rd Street and Morris Avenue early Wednesday.

The memorial includes bouquets of flowers, lighted candles, and touching letters from children in the PAL program.

"This is a process and right now they are coming to terms with she's gone, and now we have to move forward," said Rev. Dr. Vernon Williams, a minister and community partner who came to the precinct to pay his respects and pray with the many officers now grieving her death.

"It's a sick person of color with a gun running rampant in our community," he said. "So that strikes me as terrifying. It's frightening on a level."

Wednesday night, the officer's family and friends stood in the Bronx at a vigil as they heard prayers and leaned on one another.

"He took the life of a person who was great, and he didn't even know how great she was," said Officer Jay Rodriguez, a correction officer.

"She'd give you the shirt off her back," said Tom Ritter, 59, a plumber who lived downstairs from Familia and said she treated his now-22-year-old son like one of her own children.

"She was the sweetest person you ever want to meet," Ritter said.

New surveillance video from a nearby store shows the suspect, 34-year-old Alexander Bonds, as he approaches the command post and the passenger side door, where Officer Familia was sitting writing in her memo book.

The video then shows a flood of officers moving into the neighborhood to help the fallen officer.

An ambulance arrives, eventually taking her to St. Barnabas Hospital where she died.

While her partner radioed for help, other officers ran outside and spotted the suspected gunman running about a block away.

Bonds drew a revolver and the officers fatally shot him, police said.

Bonds had returned home from his fast food restaurant job around 7:30 p.m. July 4. Neighbors told police he was drinking with them at the corner.

At around 9 p.m. his girlfriend called 911, reporting he had wandered off. She said he seemed paranoid and was generally acting strangely.

She said she was concerned about Bonds and asked police to find him and check his welfare.

Asked by the operator if he was armed or violent, the girlfriend said no.

She gave them one street corner to look, and then another during a second call.

Police and an ambulance crew responded to the locations, but Bonds could not be found. The incident was classified as an emotionally disturbed person call and closed out.

Police are investigating what may have prompted Wednesday's shooting, which Police Commissioner James O'Neill described as an officer being "assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops."

"Officer Familia was murdered for her uniform and for the responsibility she embraced," O'Neill said in a message to officers Wednesday night. "For the NYPD, regularly achieving lower and lower crime figures means absolutely nothing when one of our own is brutally shot and killed."

Familia worked her entire police career in the Bronx precinct where she was killed while staffing the RV-like command post, stationed to help combat rising crime in the neighborhood after a triple shooting in March.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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