January 11, 2017, 4:48 PM
BY CHELSIA ROSE MARCIUS, LARRY MCSHANE
|NYPD Chief Carlos Gomez (l.) and Police Commissioner James O'Neill mourn NYPD Detective Stephen McDonald. (DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
Another 50 people waited outside for a last visit with the detective, who became a constant proponent of forgiveness after a teen gunman shot him in Central Park on July 12, 1986.
“Steven’s the heart and soul of this police department,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “For the last 30 years, Steven never quit. He continued to be a man of faith and preach peace.”
First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker said McDonald’s death will not erase all the good done during his life.
“He has become somewhat of a saint for the NYPD, and I think a model for all our officers,” said Tucker. “He was a gift to the city.”
|McDonald was left for dead by a teen gunman in 1986. The paralyzed cop survived for the next three decades, seeing the birth of his son and became a global voice for forgiveness across an extraordinary life. (DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
McDonald was paralyzed from the neck down by the shooting, with doctors telling his family that the young officer would die within hours.
He instead survived for more than three decades, emerging as one of the city’s most familiar faces and welcomed voices.
Members of the McDonald family left their house in Malverne, L.I., and arrived at the wake in two black vans just before 1 p.m.
McDonald was survived by his wife Patti Ann and their son Conor — a fourth-generation member of the NYPD.
The wake was schedule to continue Thursday, with a Friday funeral set for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The McDonalds were regular attendees at the Midtown church for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and were frequent guests of Cardinals John O’Connor, Edward Egan and Timothy Dolan.
|Within the first 90 minutes of the wake, 200 people came in to the church to mourn the late detective and 50 waited outside for their final visit. (DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|