The cold-blooded slaying of NYPD Officer Brian Moore on Saturday by a career criminal with a stolen weapon brought back horrific memories for NYPD Deputy Commissioner Larry Byrne, whose brother Eddie was only 22 when he was gunned down as an NYPD rookie in 1988.
The Byrne and Moore families are also linked by location, as they were raised only doors away from each other on the same street in Massapequa, Long Island. Larry Byrne attended the same high school, Plainedge, as Moore’s father, graduating a year behind him. The sports field at Plainedge is named in Eddie Byrne’s memory.
“It’s another devastating tragedy,” Byrne told the Irish Voice on Tuesday.
The Byrnes and Moores are steeped in NYPD tradition. Brian Moore’s father Raymond is a retired NYPD sergeant, while Larry and Eddie Byrne’s late father was also a member of the NYPD. The Moore family also includes an uncle and three cousins who are members of the NYPD.
“The Moores are a great family, a strong police family,” Byrne said. “You couldn’t ask for better people.”
Byrne was at Jamaica Hospital on Monday with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton with afternoon when Moore passed. He spoke with the 25-year-old’s heartbroken parents, who are “of course, devastated.”
‘They are experiencing a terrible, unspeakable loss,” Byrne added.
The memories of Eddie Byrne’s tragic murder inevitably come flooding back whenever another police officer is killed in the line of duty, Byrne says. Eddie Byrne was gunned down while sitting in an unmarked patrol car, keeping guard outside the home of a witness who was due to testify against a drug gang.
“Tragedies like these highlight how incredibly dangerous police work is,” said Byrne, who joined more than 1,000 people on Monday evening at Plainedge High School for a tribute to Moore.
Officer Moore was a five year member of the NYPD with “a great career ahead of him,” said Byrne.
“He had a great record as a cop. It’s just an immense loss.”
Moore aspired to join the NYPD right out of high school. He became a member of the force in July of 2010 and had made some 150 arrests since, earning four medals for excellent police duty in the process.
The officer, a member of the 105th Precinct, was shot in the head in Queens Village by a criminal who he saw adjusting his waistband in a suspicious manner. When Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was approached by Moore and his partner in their unmarked car for questioning he opened fire, shooting Moore in the brain. His weapon was stolen from a pawn shop in Georgia.
Moore’s funeral will take place in Long Island on Friday, reports say.