Landlord testifies on scene of Officer Peter Figoski slaying
A Brooklyn landlord testified Monday he was "shocked" when he saw his nephew among those being escorted from the crime scene by police just minutes after NYPD Officer Peter Figoski was fatally shot on the steps outside the building's basement.
Nelson Morales, 28, had told his uncle, Carlos Feliciano, he went into the basement apartment to help the man who lived there, who had been pistol-whipped by robbers just before Figoski and other officers arrived at 25 Pine St. on the morning of Dec. 12, 2011, Feliciano testified.
"I said, 'What the hell were you doing there?' That was the last person I expected to see," Feliciano testified in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn at the trial of two men charged with the murder of Figoski, of West Babylon: Lamont Pride, 28, of North Carolina, and Michael Velez, 22, of Queens.
Feliciano said he had not seen Morales in months, and "I was shocked" when he was escorted from the basement to the main floor of the private house in East New York.
"Nelson said he came to help him," Feliciano said.
Police later charged that Morales, who is still awaiting trial, was part of a crew that tried to rob the downstairs tenant, Jose Hernandez, an admitted marijuana dealer, of drugs and cash. Morales has been charged with felony murder as a participant in the felony robbery of the drug dealer -- along with Pride and Morales, prosecutors said.
Pride is also charged with first-degree murder, accused of firing the shot that killed Figoski.
During Monday's session, prosecutors showed pictures of Figoski's duty jacket, shirt, pants and bullet-resistant vest, which were taken from him at Jamaica Hospital and Medical Center, where he died about four hours after the shooting.
Feliciano said he called 911 when he heard the commotion downstairs. Pride shot Figoski in the face when he found the officer blocking his escape on the narrow steps leading up from the basement, prosecutors said. Figoski never had a chance to draw his weapon, prosecutors told jurors during opening statements.
Feliciano said he stood at his front door as officers arrived. He said he pointed toward the basement -- a movement he repeated on the witness stand -- and told them: "Be careful down there."