New York Daily News

Updated: May 9, 2015, 1:32 AM

  

 

Thousands of cops attend funeral of slain NYPD Officer Brian Moore: 'His bravery was matched by his compassion'

BY ERIK BADIA, ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, LARRY MCSHANE

DOUG KUNTZ FOR NYPD
Two NYPD Aviation helicopters complete their flyover as officer Brian Moore's casket (at lower left) is taken from the St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.
TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The casket of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore is lead from the church following the funeral mass on Friday. 
DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Family of fallen Officer Moore, L-R: mother Irene, sister Christine and father Raymond.
DOUG KUNTZ FOR NYPD
Thousands of law enforcement officers wait outside the St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.
CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Bagpipers precede the hearse carrying the body of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore. 

CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thousands of cops from around the country came to Long Island for the funeral of Officer Moore, as they saluted the hearse carrying the fallen cop.
    
NYPD Officer Brian Moore was shot in the face by Demetrius Blackwell on May 2, and died two days later.  
 
CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  
The father of Fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore leaves Chapey and Sons Funeral home funeral home with Officer Moore's hat on the day of his funeral.  

When the funeral was finished, after the fond remembrances and a final standing ovation, the father of slain Officer Brian Moore stood outside the church and sobbed.

The distraught former NYPD sergeant’s body shook with emotion as the flag once draped over son Brian’s wooden casket was folded into a triangle and presented to the family.

Raymond Moore steadied himself by clutching his daughter Christine after Friday’s gut-wrenching Mass, where more than 15,000 mourners inside and outside the church heard how Brian worshiped his father — and the NYPD.

“Brian grew up on stories of the job, from the time he was a little boy,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told the overflow audience inside St. James Church in Seaford, L.I. “He dreamed of being a cop. He dreamed of following his dad, whom he loved so much . . . He was living his dream.”

The 25-year-old officer received a long, standing ovation at the two-hour public farewell after a choked-up Bratton announced Moore’s posthumous promotion to detective first grade.

“Let us say farewell to Detective Brian Moore as he begins a journey to a new assignment,” said Bratton after the mourners returned to their seats. “A hero of the city, a guardian at the gate of New York City, and now a guardian angel at the gate of heaven.”

Mourners began arriving more than an hour before the funeral inside the packed 700-seat house of worship. By the time the hearse arrived at 11:20 a.m., accompanied by more than 100 police motorcycles, the ocean of police officers outside stretched as far as the eye could see.

An NYPD honor guard in dress blues with white gloves greeted Moore’s family before department bagpipers launched a mournful version of “Amazing Grace.” Eight police colleagues carried the casket inside as mom Irene Moore began crying on Christine’s shoulders.

At the funeral’s end, eight police helicopters flew low above the church in the “missing man” V-formation, their rotors cutting through the silence.

Deputy Inspector Mike Coyle, commander of the 105th Precinct where the young hero worked, presented the NYPD flag to the Moore family as “America the Beautiful” echoed outside the church.

The hordes of blue-clad officers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut, from New Mexico and California and Louisiana.

“I know he was a good cop, so that’s why we came,” said Detective Jacob Courtney, 30, of the San Juan County (N.M.) Sheriff’s Office.

The group inside the church included the family of Officer Wenjian Liu, shot to death inside his police car just six months ago.

Three young women who attended Plainedge High School with Moore also were at the funeral, where their warm memories collided with cold reality.

“It’s not something you ever think would hit close to home, but when it does, it takes you aback,” said Lindsay Wilson, 24.

Her friend Joanna Karam, in a black dress with a blue ribbon on her lapel, felt the same: “It was definitely emotional, but also beautiful.”

Police said Moore was shot in the face last Saturday by an ex-con carrying an illegal handgun stolen from a Georgia pawn shop. He died two days later. Accused cop killer Demetrius Blackwell, 35, remains held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder.

Police union head Patrick Lynch wasn’t surprised by the huge turnout. “We come together,” Lynch said. “If the roles were reversed, Brian would be standing in this line for our family.”

CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Officers salute the herse carrying the body of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore.
CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Police motorcycles line up for the funeral procession on Friday.
CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Officers salute the hearse carrying the body of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore.
CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A woman and her children hold a flag during the funeral procession of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore.

Moore’s 105th Precinct colleagues followed his casket inside, taking their seats before the service began.

Outside, where the officers stood and saluted, an eerie silence fell on a bright May morning until the funeral audio was broadcast to the crowd.

Department chaplain Msgr. Robert Romano addressed the Moore family, including Brian’s beloved grandmother, in a heartfelt eulogy.

“You will always be in our prayers and our hearts. . . . God bless all of you, and may Brian rest in peace,” Romano said.

Mayor de Blasio, after sharing a handshake outside with Lynch, recalled how Moore took the NYPD entrance exam at age 17. He had been on the force five years at the time of his death.

“Brian Moore represented the best of New York City,” de Blasio said in his touching eulogy. “He was brave, for sure, but his bravery was matched by his compassion. And he came by it through his family. It’s in his DNA. A family devoted to the NYPD.”

Watch the full Daily News Gallery.

The mayor mentioned one of Moore’s last arrests, an April 29 gun bust when he responded with his partner to a reported stabbing in Queens. The suspect was found carrying a .40-caliber Glock 23 handgun.

During his time on the job, Moore made 150 arrests and earned four departmental medals. He will receive detective’s Shield No. 9002, the next in line after Officer Rafael Ramos and his partner Liu — killed in December — posthumously received Nos. 9000 and 9001.

“I hope the 9000 series never sees another — but that is an idle hope,” Bratton said. “We are the police. Detective Brian Moore knew it, and so do we all.”

The eulogies for the fresh-faced officer made mention of his off-the-job pursuits — rooting for the Baltimore Orioles, bowling with his dad, his copper-black Acura and his dog Smoky. On his Mondays off, Moore made sure to spend time with his mom Irene.

The same church, on a winter day 27 years earlier, hosted the funeral Mass for Officer Edward Byrne — another Long Island kid turned city cop. Byrne was executed on the orders of a Queens druglord.

Byrne’s brother, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for legal matters Lawrence Byrne, was among the vast group of mourners on Friday. The Moore family and the Byrnes, in an eerie coincidence, lived on the same block in Massapequa. Both hero cops attended the same high school.

Retired NYPD Sgt. Vic Galante parked his navy blue truck in a driveway opposite the church. A sign was attached to his ride: “Thank you God for these heroes we call policemen.”

The 27-year police veteran, like Moore, worked in an anti-crime unit.

“I put this sign up to let all these police officers know there are people out there who appreciate them,” Galante said. 

rparascandola@nydailynews.com