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Slain NYPD Officer Brian Moore comes home to Massapequa amid a painful procession

Police officers and firefighters salute as an ambulance,

Police officers and firefighters salute as an ambulance, escorted by a motorcade, carrying the body of slain NYPD Officer Brian Moore is bought to Frank J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Bethpage on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Credit: John Roca

Outside the Massapequa home where Brian Moore first learned of the family birthright -- working city streets as an NYPD cop -- an impromptu garden of flowers piled up Tuesday afternoon.

At a Bethpage funeral home, ladders of rescue trucks from Moore's hometown fire department held American flags.

Four days after a gunman's bullet pierced his brain and a day after it ended his life, NYPD Officer Brian Moore, shield No. 469, came home to a town reeling from his death.

In New York City, where Moore's father and uncle had worn the NYPD blue before him, purple and black bunting hung from the slain officer's 105th Precinct in Queens.

At Rikers Island, Demetrius Blackwell, 35, an ex-convict from Queens Village who police said pulled the trigger, sat in a jail cell.

The deadly Saturday night encounter between Blackwell and Moore took place in about a minute, a police official said, as the anti-crime officer and his partner in an unmarked police vehicle saw Blackwell walking on the sidewalk of 212th Street.

Moore drove around the corner to 104th Road and pulled in by Blackwell, the police official said. After Moore asked Blackwell if he had something, Blackwell responded "I got something for you," pulled a gun and fired three times, striking Moore once in the head, the official said.

Blackwell then allegedly ran through alleyways and backyards, circling back down 104th Avenue, where he was captured on surveillance cameras, the official said. Blackwell is believed to have taken off a black sweatshirt and hid it in an abandoned car on 212th Place, near where he was living, said the official.

As hordes of police descended on the Queens neighborhood after the shooting, Blackwell loitered in front of his residence watching the activity, the official said.

Detectives were emailed images of Blackwell from an old photo array. One of them showed the picture to a cop on 212th Place who recognized Blackwell as having gone inside the house where he was then arrested, the official said.

Twenty-five miles east of Queens Village, heartbreak and sadness were the predominant emotions Tuesday outside the Frederick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Bethpage.

Firefighters, police officers and civilians stood on a sidewalk as a police convoy escorted the NYPD ambulance with Moore's body inside to the funeral home.

Pat Davis, 27, stood in the funeral home parking lot and described Moore, his high school buddy, as "like a brother."

"If you found out Brian's going to be somewhere, you want to be there because you want to be around him," he said.

The procession of police vehicles began at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Moore's death was ruled a homicide and the cause was a gunshot wound to the head, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner.

Investigators ran DNA and ballistic tests on the revolver they said Blackwell used in an effort to link it to him.

The tests are also an attempt to see if the handgun, which authorities said was among 23 weapons stolen from a Georgia bait and tackle store in 2011, is tied to other crimes, a law enforcement official said.

Nine of the guns, including the one police suspect Blackwell used, were seized in connection with various New York City law enforcement actions, officials said.

An NYPD spokesman said most of the weapons were connected to crimes in Bronx.

Five of the guns are part of pending law enforcement investigations, which the spokesman indicated involved the NYPD and federal officials.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown has said he would seek to charge Blackwell with first-degree murder, which carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Brown was expected to put the case before a grand jury Tuesday, authorities said.

Blackwell is expected in court Friday. His court-appointed defense attorney, David Bart, said Tuesday that he had not spoken to his client since his Sunday arraignment. He said any comment on an upgrade of charges to first-degree murder would be "premature."

In Massapequa, Moore's family returned home Tuesday to the flowers outside and 22 large American flags, put up by the Massapequa Kiwanis Club.

Frank Pappalardo, owner of Pappalardo's Pizza in Massapequa, recalled Moore's reaction when he found out he'd been accepted into the NYPD.

"He was so excited when he passed the test," he said. "Brian was always a happy go lucky guy. He was really a great kid. Nobody ever said a bad word about him."

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