December 12, 2011
The 911 caller reported a robbery in progress early Monday, and the first officers who arrived at the Brooklyn basement apartment found a tenant bloodied from a beating. They had no idea that the robbers were still there, hiding in a dark room behind them.
The robbers, in turn, did not know that backup was on the way, and so when they moved to slip out of the apartment unnoticed, they were met by two more police officers. Everyone was surprised, and in the frame of a darkened door, one robber raised a pistol and fired, striking an officer in the face, the police said.
The officer, Peter J. Figoski, 47, of West Babylon, N.Y., died five hours later at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. His four daughters had been rushed to his side; two had been hurried aboard police helicopters at colleges in upstate New York.
The police identified the gunman as Lamont Pride, 27, a felon who served a prison term in North Carolina and was wanted by the authorities there for a shooting in August. He was arrested on a drug charge in Brooklyn in November but released.
Officer Figoski served 22 years with the New York Police Department. He was sworn in amid the crack-cocaine epidemic of the late 1980s and early 1990s and witnessed plummeting crime rates. His death at the barrel of a semi-automatic Ruger pistol, the same kind of gun used in the 1993 shootings on the Long Island Rail Road and the sort of firearm that continues to vex the city, served as a reminder of those days, and of the way an officer’s routine shift can end in an instant.
The shooting, the first fatal one in more than four years, revived the familiar mechanics that follow an on-duty death. Some grieving officers — many who did not know Officer Figoski — rushed to the hospital, while others pulled black bunting out from storage at the station house where he had spent his entire career.
Officer Figoski’s partner, Officer Glenn Estrada, had been struggling outside the basement apartment with a second robber when he heard the shot and saw the gunman run, the police said; Officer Estrada chased the gunman on a zigzag sprint of four blocks and arrested him.
The second suspect was still at large several hours later; the police released video footage of him calmly strolling on a nearby sidewalk minutes after the shooting.
The events leading to the shooting began at 2:15 a.m., when the two robbers pounded on the basement door of 25 Pine Street, a two-story home, claiming they were police officers. The owner, who lives upstairs, called 911. Neighbors told the police that both intruders were armed. The area, in Cypress Hills, is known as a relatively quiet pocket of a busy precinct that includes East New York; officers once called the precinct “the killing fields.”
The men entered the apartment, which was narrow and messy. The building’s oil tank, marked with graffiti, was in the hallway, under a bare light bulb. They confronted the tenant, a 25-year-old bodega worker who lived in a cramped bedroom, and demanded money, the police said the tenant had told them. Mr. Pride, wearing a ski mask, forced the tenant to the floor, he told detectives, then pistol-whipped him and took his watch as well as $770 in cash. The police said they were investigating whether the money might have come from drug-dealing.
The robbers moved deeper into the apartment, looking for a way out and finding none, the police said. One of them is believed to have stashed his revolver — an unloaded blackSmith and Wesson that was jammed — in a dirty microwave oven in the kitchen, where officers found it later.
The robbers turned and headed back the way they had come, presumably stepping over the bleeding tenant. He later told the police that he knew the officers were close by when he heard the crackle of their radios. The robbers may have heard them too, and ducked into a dark room with tools and debris close to the front door. A neighbor walked in to care for the wounded tenant.
Two officers entered and saw the neighbor standing over the tenant, and they hurried to them, not knowing whether the neighbor was an attacker. They probably did not even notice the door to the room where the robbers were hiding, the police said.
Backup officers arrived: Officers Figoski and Estrada, who had been partners for several years. Both had been given commendations: Officer Figoski was awarded a medal for recovering a gun during an arrest in a livery cab robbery; Officer Estrada received a congratulatory letter after a driver in a traffic stop offered him $100 to walk away and he arrested the driver on bribery charges.
One of the robbers emerged from the room and ran outside, where Officer Estrada confronted him. They fought in front of the building while Officer Figoski came upon Mr. Pride trying to make his escape. Mr. Pride fired, the police said, and a single round struck Officer Figoski below his left eye; it exited from the back of his head. Officer Figoski left behind a bloody palm print on the wall, perhaps seeking to steady himself as he fell. A small pin with the number 75, for his precinct, fell from his uniform to the ground.
Mr. Pride ran and Officer Estrada chased him, south on Pine and around three corners, before he was apprehended. His gun, which contained 10 bullets but had jammed, was found under a nearby car, near a black ski mask, the police said.
According to a transcript of Mr. Pride’s court hearing after his arrest on a drug charge in November, Justice Evelyn Laporte of Brooklyn Criminal Court was told that there was an active warrant for his arrest in connection with a shooting in North Carolina, but she released him without bail. According to David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state court system, the warrant appeared to say that North Carolina would not seek his extradition if he were arrested outside that state.
A law enforcement spokeswoman in Greensboro, N.C., disputed that.
“It is our understanding, based on conversations with the district attorney’s office, that we had a warrant with full extradition that was in place at the end of September,” said Susan Danielsen, a spokeswoman for the Greensboro Police Department, adding that a New York police detective had notified the Greensboro police of Mr. Pride’s arrest.
“We had intended to travel to New York to pick him up and bring him back to North Carolina,” Ms. Danielsen said.
The last New York City police officer killed in the line of duty was Alain Schaberger, 42, who died on March 13 when he was pushed over a railing during a domestic violence episode in Brooklyn. The last officer fatally shot in the line of duty was Russel Timoshenko, 23, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn on July 9, 2007.
After Officer Figoski’s shooting, the State Police rushed to his two older daughters, at colleges in Plattsburgh and Oneonta. They were flown in helicopters to Albany. There, they boarded a police airplane to Kennedy International Airport, where officers met them and sped them to the hospital.
Officer Figoski’s younger daughters are in high school. He and their mother are divorced.
The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg praised Officer Figoski’s career, with more than 200 arrests, about half for felonies.
Mr. Bloomberg called the shooting a “horrible, depraved criminal attack.”
Each letter of the first and middle names rules 9 years of life. Ages 27 to 54 are ruled by the sum of the 4th, 5th, and 6th letters of the name.
Peter J. Figoski
5 (e is the 5th letter of the alphabet) + 18 (r is the 18th letter of the alphabet) + 10 (J is the 10th letter of the alphabet) = 33
So the number 33 ruled his ages twenty-seven to fifty-four.
33 = Bravery. Courage. Valor. Loyalty.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
314652 79945 53
his path of destiny = 53 = Attacker. Confrontations.
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