5 indicted in death of NYPD's Peter Figoski

Suspects in shooting death of New York City

Suspects in shooting death of New York City Police Officer Peter Figoski in court. (L to R) Defendants Michael Velez, Nelson Morales, Kevin Santos, Lamont Pride and Aerial Tejada, with their lawyers standing behind them. (Dec. 16, 2011) (Credit: John Roca)

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The five men accused in the fatal shooting of an NYPD officer from West Babylon were indicted Friday on murder charges and ordered held without bail.

Officer Peter Figoski, 47, a decorated officer and father of four, was killed Monday while responding to a botched robbery in his Brooklyn precinct.

Police said the five men met in a Queens apartment at 1 a.m. and hatched a plan to rob a drug dealer who lived in a basement apartment.

Less than an hour and a half later, Figoski was gunned down when he encountered the shooter, Lamont Pride, on the stairs, police said.

Pride, 27, faces the most charges: first- and second-degree murder, aggravated murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, prosecutors said.

The four other suspects -- Kevin Santos, 30; Ariel Tejada, 22; Nelson Moralez, 27; and Michael Velez, 21, all of Queens -- each face charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

None of the five men entered a plea at the hearing at State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, which was packed with plainclothes and uniformed officers. They return to court Jan. 18.

"We witnessed evil get indicted," New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said outside the courtroom. "The family of our hero police officer is now at a funeral parlor, viewing the body, preparing for two days of wake and preparing for a funeral, the last time they'll see their father and son."

Visiting hours for Figoski are Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m., at Claude R. Boyd/Spencer Funeral Home, 448 W. Main St., Babylon.

His funeral Mass will be Monday at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. Burial will be in North Babylon Cemetery.

Babylon Junior-Senior High School will be closed Monday because of the large turnout expected nearby for the funeral.

Other schools will remain open, the Babylon School District said in a statement Friday.

The school is at 50 Railroad Ave., and the 11 a.m. funeral will be across the street, at 39 N. Carll Ave.

The Silver Shield Foundation, established by former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, is giving $80,000 to an education fund for the daughters of the slain officer, The Associated Press has reported.

Figoski's daughters Caroline, 16, and Corinne, 14, are in high school, and Christine, 20, and Caitlyn, 18, are in college upstate.

The foundation provides support to the families of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty. It was established by Steinbrenner in 1982.

With William Murphy

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