New York Daily News

March 11, 2016, 4:14 PM

  

 

South Bronx street renamed after Kevin Gillespie, NYPD officer killed in 1996 carjacking

BY GRAHAM RAYMAN, NATHAN PLACE

ROBERT SABO / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
(Left to right) PBA President Patrick Lynch, Bobby Gillespie, Danny Gillespie, and widow Patty Gillespie attend a street renaming for Kevin Gillespie on Friday.

A Bronx street was renamed Friday for a police officer shot to death on duty in 1996 by a carjacker in the Bronx.

    
FARRELL DAN DAILY NEWS  
Officer Kevin Gillespie was 33 when he was shot by Angel Diaz on March 14, 1996.  

NYPD Officer Kevin Gillespie's sons, Danny and Bobby, choked back tears as the sign bearing their dad's name was unveiled at the corner of 183rd St. and Grand Concourse in the South Bronx, the site of his killing.

The sign reads: Police Officer Kevin Joseph Gillespie Way.

"From what I remember from when I was a little kid, he was a very loving father," Danny Gillespie said. “Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.”

Gillespie's widow Patty said he cared about his fellow officers and looked after their safety, even writing the Chief of Department one week before his death to change traffic stop procedures to be safer.

After his death, the NYPD implemented his advice, she said.

"The best part of his day was when he came home and two little boys came running to greet him," she said, choking up.

Gillespie's mother, Theresa, said her son chose a life of service, first as a Marine and then as a police officer.

 
  SCHWARTZ, MICHAEL
    

Diaz hanged himself in a jail after the shooting.

"He was honest, truthful, generous, and most important of all, loyal," she said.

Prior to the unveiling, about 300 people, lead by Gillespie's family, joined a bagpipes and drums procession to the corner.

"We lead by the example that Kevin gave us," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.

"He owned that street, he owned that corner, and now he owns our hearts."

Gillespie was 33 when he was shot by Angel Diaz on March 14, 1996, on the Grand Concourse between 183rd and 184th Sts. Gillespie was responding to a report of a stolen BMW.

Diaz later hung himself in jail, leaving behind a rage-filled letter in which he blamed his wife and "devils" for his actions.

ROBERT SABO / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Patricia Gillespie consoles her son, Bobby, at Friday's event.

ROBERT SABO / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
PBA honcho Patrick Lynch and family members of fallen cop Kevin Gillespie attend a street renaming ceremony on Friday at 183rd St. and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.