A 40-year-old NYPD sergeant was shot dead by Manuel Rosales in the Bronx on the afternoon of November 4. In the ensuing gunfight, Rosales, 35, was also killed. Another officer at the scene was wounded and is being treated at Jacobi Hospital. The medical center has been flooded with officers and city officials coming to pay their respects to the slain cop, named as Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, 41. His partner is Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, 30, who is in stable condition after being shot in the leg.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Shootout Began When Rosales Was Pulled Over by the Officers
Officers Tuozzolo and Kwo were shot at by Rosales when they pulled him over as they were responding to a home invasion call. The gunfire broke out in the Van Nest section of The Bronx close to the Noble Playground.
The weapon used was a .45 caliber. Sgt. Tuozzolo was hit in the head and chest. Sgt. Kwo were able to return fire, killing Rosales. He had been driving a red Jeep Cherokee. In the aftermath of the shooting, the New York Daily News remarked that “Rosales’ legs could be seen dangling outside the vehicle, which had crashed into the side of Tuck It Away Storage.”
2. Rosales Was Heavily Armed & Had 17 Prior Arrests
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told the media that Rosales had been heavily armed when he was approached by Sgt. Tuzzolo and his partner. O’Neill also said that the suspect had 17 prior arrests in Suffolk County. At the time of his death, Rosales had been living in Brentwood, New York. The New York Post reports that Rosales also had a record in North and South Carolina for minor offenses.
The apartment he was breaking into was the home of his estranged wife on Beach Avenue in the Van Nest neighborhood. NBC New York reports that Rosales went to the home, in violation of a restraining order. At the apartment were Rosales’ son, 3, a 50-year-old woman and a 13-year-old.
Officials said that after holding those people hostage for some time, Rosales fled. It was the 50-year-old woman who alerted the police. The dilligent cops caught up with Rosales seven minutes later, according to the New York Times.
3. Sgt. Tuozzolo Is the 53rd to Be Shot & Killed in the Line of Duty in 2016
Sgt. Tuozzolo is the 53rd officer to be shot dead in the line of duty in 2016. That’s up from 33 at the same month in 2015, as per NBC New York’s Brian Thompson. This attack comes just days after Scott Michael Greene was accused of shooting two officers dead in Iowa. The last NYPD officer killed in the line of duty was Officer Randolph Holder in East Harlem in October 2015. Tyrone Howard is awaiting trial for the murder.
4. Sgt. Tuozzolo Was Married With 2 Young Children
Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo was a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD and served as a union delegate. He is survived by his wife and two young children. The family lived together on Long Island. The news of his passing was broken to them by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner James O’Neill. The mayor told them that New York City “would be them for as long as they needed help for years and years to come.”
A colleague of Tuozzolo’s told the New York Post that the slain man was “a stand-up guy, someone you would want on your side and as a partner. The NYPD lost a good one today.” While the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association Ed Mullins was friends with Tuozzolo, he called him “just an unbelievably nice guy,” according to DNA Info’s Kate Honan.
5. Gov. Cuomo Led the Tributes for the Slain Officer Saying he ‘Made the Ultimate Sacrifice’
In a statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo led the tributes to the slain officer saying:
Every day, the brave men and women of law enforcement selflessly serve our communities to keep the rest of us safe. Today, a sergeant in the New York City Police Department has made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and another officer is undergoing treatment.
My deepest sympathies are with the families of the officers involved in today’s tragedy in the Bronx, and with Commissioner O’Neill and the NYPD as they cope with the loss of one of their own.
While at a media briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “The city is in mourning and the family of the NYPD is in mourning, particularly all the men and the women of the 43rd Precinct, who lost a good man, a man who committed his life to protecting all of us.” Elsewhere, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. remarked, “This heartbreaking incident puts into clear focus both the difficulties our police officers face every day and the true scourge of guns and gun violence faced by our police, our communities and our nation.”