It was the sunny afternoon of May 2, 2015 when Ray Moore, a retired NYPD sergeant, said goodbye to his son Brian as the 25-year-old cop left the family home in Massapequa to go to work in the 105th Precinct in Queens.
“Alright Brian, be careful,” the elder Moore recalled saying.
By 6 p.m., Moore knew something terrible had happened to his son.
While on plainclothes patrol, Brian Moore was shot in the head as he stepped out of a police car to confront a suspect walking on 212th Street in Queens Village. After lingering in the hospital on life support, Moore died two years ago Thursday.
Scores of NYPD officials, cops, Queens politicians, union officials and folks from the neighborhood where Moore was fatally wounded gathered Thursday to share a moment of silence in his honor. No speeches followed the brief ceremony, in which a member of the NYPD ceremonial unit placed a floral display at the site where Moore fell.
NYPD chaplain Robert J. Romano said a short prayer. Two police dogs with their handlers stood nearby. A group of officers from the 105th Precinct approached the display and individually placed white roses tipped in blue. A bouquet of flowers was already at the site, left earlier by a family which lives directly opposite the location.
Earlier, a group of about 200 had gathered at the 105th Precinct for the unveiling of a memorial in his honor.
Ray Moore said he and his family appreciated the day’s events but added that the years without his son have not been easy.
“It is tough, it has been this way for the last two years,” Moore told Newsday. “There are so many questions about Brian’s shooting I need answered.”
A neighborhood resident, Demetrius Blackwell, then 35, was arrested soon after the shooting. He is awaiting trial on first-degree murder and other charges. But even with the prospect of that trial looming, Ray Moore, who attends every court hearing in the case, thinks it will be awhile until justice is served.
“The trial, I don’t think it will be till after the summer,” said Moore.
A spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the next court date for Blackwell is scheduled for May 11. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
Moore, who had been working five years as a cop, was promoted to the rank of detective posthumously.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect first name for NYPD chaplain Robert J. Romano.