The DEA Honor Roll
Official Line of Duty Deaths
Peter J. Figoski
Shield Number: 3364
Command: 75 Precinct
Date of Death: 12/12/2011
Cause of Death: Shot During Robbery in Progress
On Monday, December 12, 2011, at approximately 2:30 a.m., P. O. Peter J. Figoski of the 75th Precinct was shot in the face at close range. The 47-year old Officer was rushed to nearby Jamaica Hospital where, around 7:15 in the morning, he died. Hospital officials said the bullet had entered under Figoski’s left eye, went through his neck and exited the back of his head.
The horrific overnight shooting made headlines around the country. The ambush attack on the patrolman, the quick and cold-blooded nature of his execution, the proximity of the tragedy to the Christmas holidays, the Officer’s long tenure on the job, and his devotion to his four teenage daughters resonated deeply with the public, as well as with law enforcement officers throughout the United States.
Immediately after the Officer’s death, The New York Post and the New York City Police Foundation established a scholarship fund for Figoski’s four daughters and within two weeks raised over $1.3 million for their educational needs. The gals were living with their father at the time of the shooting and he was fiercely devoted to them.
Figoski and a partner, P.O. Glenn Estrada, were handling a radio run to 25 Pine Street in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn after 9-1-1 reported a robbery in progress in the basement apartment of the building. Figoski and Estrada were a back-up team to other Officers who were questioning the victim in his apartment. Unbeknownst to the police, some of the perps were still in the building and as one tried to flee, he surprised Figoski, who was by the stairwell between the front door and the basement. The perp pulled a semi-automatic handgun and shot Figoski.
Outside on the street, partner P.O. Estrada, was wrestling with another suspect when he heard the shot and saw the armed perp run. He let go of the accomplice and chased the shooter, 27-year-old Lamont Pride, for several blocks. He caught him on Chestnut near Fulton Streets.
The original crime, according to investigators, was a planned robbery of a small time pot dealer. It was discovered that Pride was wanted in connection with a shooting in North Carolina and had already served time in that state for robbery. He had previously been arrested twice in New York City on a number of drug and weapons possessions charges, and while he had a criminal history, he was not held and was released without bail.
The situation sparked outrage and raised age-old concerns about the “revolving door of justice:” about often-arrested perpetrators still wreaking havoc at large; about a Court system that required no bail for a potentially dangerous suspect; whether extradition possibilities were negligently handled; and about the perpetual flow of illegal guns into the hands of criminals.
A silver 9-mm semiautomatic Ruger handgun traced to Virginia was recovered from under a parked car near the spot where Estrada captured Pride. A ski mask was also recovered near the scene.
It was announced by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office that the case against five defendants in the murder of Peter Figoski would be prosecuted by Kenneth Taub, the chief of the DA’s Homicide Bureau. Shooter Pride was charged with first and second degree murder. Four other defendants, his accomplices — Ariel Tejada, Kevin Santos, Nelson Morales and Michael Velez — were charged with second degree murder. According to DA Charles Hynes, no plea deals would be offered.
Figoski’s funeral was one of the largest police memorials in collective memory, with an estimated 20,000 people in attendance, most of them Officers in dress uniform, many who came from jurisdictions outside New York City and some from far across the nation. His service was held at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Babylon, New York.
A few days after the burial, Figoski was posthumously promoted to first grade Detective. On Friday, December 23, 2011, Figoski’s partner, Officer Glenn Estrada, was promoted to third grade Detective.
Figoski is remembered as an “extremely active Patrol Officer,” and a man known for being soft-spoken and remaining calm under pressure, and for being patient and easy-going both on and off the job. With 22 years on the force, he was considered a role model for the younger Officers at his command. An enthusiastic and devoted family man, his colleagues at the 75 Precinct say his locker was covered with pictures of his daughters, who meant “everything to him.” He was offered more lucrative assignments with better hours, but specifically wanted to work the overnight shift to be able to spend more time during the day with his children. His daughters say he did not like to talk about the hazards of the job with them, lest they worried too much.
In addition to “his girls,” Figoski’s survivors included his mother Maryanne and his father Frank, his brother James and his brother Robert, a retired NYPD Officer, and his brother-in-law 20th Precinct P.O. Joseph Reale.
Figoski, who spent his entire career in East New York, made more than 200 arrests during his tenure and was the recipient of a dozen medals for excellent police work. He joined the Department on July 5, 1989. In 1996, he was one of the responding Officers to a domestic violence call that led to the arrest of the famous New York “Zodiac Killer.”
He is buried at North Babylon Cemetery in Long Island. On December 2, 2023 the intersection of Pine Street and Etna Street in Brooklyn, NY 11208 was named in memory of Detective Figoski.