Demetrius Blackwell, right, appears in Queens Criminal Court for his...

Demetrius Blackwell, right, appears in Queens Criminal Court for his arraignment on Sunday, May 3, 2015. He is facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder, assault and weapons charges in the shooting of NYPD Officer Brian Moore, 25, of Massapequa. Credit: NYPD / AP

Brian Moore's connection to the NYPD runs deep.

As it is for many officers, the oath Moore took about five years ago is about family and tradition as well as a commitment to serve others. Moore's father, an uncle and cousins all served in the NYPD.

"His father is a retired police officer. His uncle is a retired police officer. His cousins are all police officers currently both in our great city and in the towns out east on Long Island as well," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said Sunday. "They're folks that dedicated themselves to service. This shouldn't have happened to a police officer like this."

Mayor Bill de Blasio noted Moore's lineage in the immediate aftermath of the Saturday night shooting that left the 25-year-old Massapequa resident clinging to life.

"He is a brave young man. He comes from a police family," he said. "This is what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a New York City police officer. He wanted to serve, and he did so with great distinction."

Moore was determined to join the police ranks, taking the test and entering the academy almost immediately after graduating from Plainedge High School in North Massapequa.

He lived on the same street where he grew up, and his presence comforted those who live nearby.

"It's always reassuring when officers live in the neighborhood because it feels safe," said next-door neighbor Liam Whyte, 45, who called the shooting "heartbreaking."

Lynch on Sunday urged the public to support Moore. "We're hopeful that he walks out of that hospital, but he remains in very serious condition," Lynch said.

Moore was in critical condition in a medically induced coma at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center last night after being shot in the head. He was working a plainclothes shift in Queens Village with his partner Erik Jansen, police said, when the officers saw a man reaching for something in his waistband. They followed and then confronted the man, later identified as Demetrius Blackwell, 35, who shot at the officers, hitting Moore, police said.

Queens Assistant District Attorney Peter J. McCormack said Sunday that Moore is "fighting for his life" with a "massive head injury." McCormack made the comment during Blackwell's arraignment on charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault as well as weapons charges.

Moore's neighbors Sunday said they were shocked and distraught at the attack on the man they watched grow up.

Joni Olton said Moore and her daughter, Courtney, attended prom together at Plainedge High several years ago and that he was supposed to come over after his work shift Saturday night to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match.

"I've known him since he was 3 years old," she said. "It's been a long haul for our family."

With Deon J. Hampton

and Matthew Chayes

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