Firefighter killed in Brooklyn road rage attack laid to rest

BATH BEACH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Family, friends and colleagues gathered Thursday to bid a final farewell to a New York City firefighter who was killed in an apparent road rage incident in Brooklyn.

Faizal Coto, 33, was remembered as someone who loved being a firefighter and loved giving back to the community.

Hundreds of uniformed firefighters joined Coto's loved ones at the Leone Funeral Home on Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park for the funeral service.

Light snow fell as the firefighter's flag-draped casket emerged from the funeral home and was placed atop a waiting engine for the ride to Coto's final resting place.

"Now we have a family who's lost their son, their brother," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. "We have a firehouse full of people who lost a very good friend. And we have a city who lost a public servant, who would have served this city well for many, many, many years."

Coto is survived by his parents and two brothers, one of whom is also a New York City firefighter.

WATCH the arrivals and ceremonial departure at Firefighter Coto's funeral

Thursday's services followed a wake on Wednesday to pay tribute to one of New York's Bravest, who died in a way no one would have expected.

"He didn't go to a fire, where we know the risks," firefighter Joe Romeo said. "He was in a fender bender."

Romeo was Coto's best friend at Engine 245 in Coney Island, a firehouse still in shock.

"This is just uncharted territory for us," he said.

It happened early Sunday morning on the Belt Parkway, when police say Coto got into a minor accident with the wrong man, a known gang member they identify as Joseph Desmond.

"As they came together and then pulled to the side of the road, we believe our firefighter was set on in very short time, struck and then left on the side of the road," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

The search for the suspect's car brought police to a hotel in Perth Amboy, where they believe Desmond had been hiding out. He will be extradited back to New York in the next few days, and murder charges are expected.

Coto was a three-year veteran of the FDNY. He was also an aspiring rapper and hip-hop artist performing under the name FAIYA.

Black and purple bunting was placed above Engine 245 in Coney Island on Monday in honor of Coto.

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