Much of Babylon will come to a halt this morning as family, friends and thousands of fellow officers gather for the funeral of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, a decorated 22-year veteran who was shot and killed Dec. 12 while responding to a robbery in Brooklyn.
Suffolk police issued a traffic advisory Sunday, warning motorists that Montauk Highway in Babylon will be closed Monday in both directions from Little East Neck Road to Deer Park Avenue between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The funeral Mass is to be offered at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church on North Carll Avenue in Babylon.
Sunday, uniformed and plainclothes NYPD officers packed the Claude R. Boyd/Spencer Funeral Home in Babylon for the wake for Figoski, 47. They were greeted inside by a large TV displaying photos of Figoski with his four daughters and former wife.
"He was, as with all people in our job, doing a very difficult job," said NYPD Det. Rob Saenz, 47, who once worked at the same precinct as Figoski and Sunday night attended the officer's wake. "I'm sorry he had to pay such a high price."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrived for the wake just after 7:30 p.m. and did not speak to the news media gathered outside.
In the fatal shooting, police said five men met in a Queens apartment at 1 a.m. and hatched a plan to rob a drug dealer in East New York. Less than 90 minutes later, Figoski was gunned down when he encountered the shooter whom officials identified as Lamont Pride, police said.
The suspects were indicted on murder charges Friday and ordered held without bail.
The Silver Shield Foundation, established by former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to support families of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty, is donating $80,000 to an education fund for Figoski's daughters, The Associated Press has reported.
Caroline, 16, and Corinne, 14, are in high school, and Christine, 20, and Caitlyn, 18, are in college.
With Paul LaRocco
and Ted Phillips