LARCHMONT, New York (WABC) -- The family of a police officer murdered 46 years ago is outraged after his killed was granted parole and could be out of prison as early as next week.
"I just was numb," widow Alice Dematte said.
Alice Dematte described the shock of learning the man who killed her husband 46 years ago was granted parole.
In 1976, police officer Arthur Dematte was shot with his own gun, taken from him during a scuffle with a man he was trying to stop from walking too close to railroad tracks in Larchmont.
"My husband got a call to save a man from the railroad tracks, and he got that man before he got killed by the train, he got that man safely off that train, and that man killed him," Alice Dematte said.
A vigil was held Wednesday evening in remembrance for Dematte, just days before his killer is set to be freed.
Anthony Blanks was sentenced to 25 years to life and has been denied parole since 2001, but last month the parole board granted the now 69-year-old his release.
"This parole board once again, is slapping law enforcement in the face and forcing another family to relive those horrific events," Rockland County Mike Lawler said.
Earlier Wednesday morning, gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin and other Hudson Valley Republicans met with Dematte's wife and daughter in White Plains at a memorial for fallen officers, using Wednesday's anniversary of the shooting to accuse Democrats of being soft on crime
"If you murder a cop, I believe you should get life without parole, I think the moral of the story is don't murder our men and women in law enforcement," Zeldin said.
Dematte was 46 at the time of his death. He left behind four kids and his widow, now 89 years old.
"Just hope that he doesn't hurt anybody, because if he hurt someone who tried to save his life, then he'd hurt anyone," Alice Dematte said.
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News