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25K expected at funeral for slain NYPD officer, officials say

NYPD officer Miosotis Familia was fatally shot early

NYPD officer Miosotis Familia was fatally shot early Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Her wake will be held Monday, July 10, 2017, in the Bronx. Credit: NYPD via AP

The funeral for slain NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia next week is expected to draw close to the 25,000 police who attended the rites for officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos when they were ambushed and killed in December 2014, officials said.

According to the NYPD, the wake and funeral for Familia, 48, will take place Monday and Tuesday at the World Changers Church in the Bronx. The wake, which is expected to be open to the public, is Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

On Saturday night, Officer Familia’s 46th Precinct is hosting a vigil outside the station house just before sunset, according to an order posted by Assistant Chief Larry W. Nikunen, commanding officer of patrol borough Bronx.

Familia, a mother of three, died after she was shot in the face by Alexander Bonds, 34, of the Bronx, as she sat in a police command vehicle early on Wednesday at the intersection of East 183rd Street and Creston Avenue in the Fordham Heights section, investigators said. Minutes later, Bonds was shot dead by responding NYPD officers who confronted him as he drew a .38-caliber handgun, according to officials.

To help Familia’s children, the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation is accepting donations through its website.

On Friday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced activation of its Fallen Heroes Relief Effort, a fund that supports the families of fallen heroes like Familia as well as others in the NYPD community affected by tragedies.

Familia’s death was the first line-of-duty casualty for the NYPD this year that was non-Sept. 11 related.

The World Changers Church, a nondenominational congregation at 2417 Grand Concourse, was chosen as the funeral venue because of its size. The former Loews Paradise Theater can seat 5,000, said a police official involved in planning the services. Police departments from around the country, as well as Canada, have inquired about sending delegations, NYPD officials said.

Liu and Ramos were shot dead in their patrol car on Dec. 20, 2014 by a mentally ill man who hated cops. Their assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, killed himself in a nearby subway station. The funerals for Liu and Ramos drew an estimated 25,000, with hundreds attending their wakes.

Investigators were still sifting Friday through evidence found in Bonds’ Bronx apartment. Detectives found several drugs, although it couldn’t be determined who was taking them. One was the antipsychotic medication Risperidone. Two other anti-depressants — Escitalopram and Bupropion — also were found. Medical websites report that the two anti-depressants may interact to cause agitation, confusion, irritability and mental changes. British drug experts have reported that withdrawal from taking Risperidone could lead to rapid relapse of psychotic behavior.

Police are reluctant to say if Bonds was actually taking the drugs until the investigation gathers more information. Bonds had been treated as a walk-in psychiatric patient at St. Barnabas Hospital on July 1 and discharged, an action that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has asked officials to investigate.

NYPD detectives also found six cellphones at Bonds’ apartment and were analyzing them to track his movements in the days before he shot Familia. Federal agents and New York City police have also gone to West Virginia, where the gun used to kill Familia had been stolen in 2013.

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