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5 men charged with murder in death of NYPD vet Peter Figoski

Lamont Pride, one of the five suspects in

Lamont Pride, one of the five suspects in the slaying of Peter Figoski. (Patrick E. McCarthy) Photo Credit: Lamont Pride, one of the five suspects in the slaying of Peter Figoski. (Patrick E. McCarthy)

The career criminal charged in the cold-blooded killing of a highly decorated NYPD officer was held without bail last night, with his arraignment coming just hours after the city's top cop said the man never should have been on the streets in the first place.

Lamont Pride, 27, of Brooklyn, was remanded after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of Officer Peter Figoski, 47, who was shot early Monday morning after responding to a botched robbery in Cypress Hill and later died at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that Pride "ideally ... would have been held and extradited to [his native] North Carolina" after his arrest in New York on a drug charge Nov. 3, because North Carolina has warrants out for his arrest. But Pride was released because those warrants didn't require his return to the state.

During Tuesday night's arraignment, prosecutor Kenneth Taub reportedly said that Officer Figoski "was targeted for homicide because he was wearing the uniform of a New York City police officer," adding that Pride was the "muscle man" of the home robbery, in which Pride and his accomplices tried to rob a man they thought was a drug dealer.

Pride has at least five prior arrests in New York and North Carolina on charges ranging from drug sale to grand larceny. He is charged with shooting the Figoski, a 22-year NYPD vet and father of four, once in the face at the scene of the robbery. He is due back in court Friday.

After his arrest, Pride implicated himself in the crime with "a statement that puts him at the scene," the NYPD said.

Four other men were charged with murder. They were Kevin Santos, 30, of Queens; Nelson Morales, 27, of Brooklyn; Ariel Tejada, 22, of Queens; and Michael Velez, 21, of Queens. They were also held without bail.

(with Newsday)


Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera

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