Thou­sands of of­fi­cers line streets at slain sergeant’s fu­neral

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Michael Bal­samo

Thou­sands of po­lice of­fi­cers from across the na­tion paid trib­ute Thurs­day to a New York City po­lice sergeant who was killed dur­ing a gun­fight last week.

Throngs of of­fi­cers stood shoul­der-to-shoul­der for nearly a mile as hearse car­ry­ing the body Sgt. Paul Tuoz­zolo ar­rived for his Long Is­land fu­neral. The 19-year vet­eran of­fi­cer was killed last Fri­day in the Bronx.

“Paul was ev­ery­thing we could wish for in a po­lice of­fi­cer,” Po­lice Com­mis­sioner James O’Neill told mourn­ers. “Paul pro­tected all New York­ers and he died while keep­ing peo­ple safe.” Dur­ing a eu­logy, his voice crack­ing, O’Neill posthu­mously pro­moted Tuoz­zolo to Sergeant-Spe­cial As­sign­ment.

Tuoz­zolo’s wife Lisa and their two young sons, Austin and Joseph, walked along­side the flag-draped cas­ket; fel­low of­fi­cers served as pall­bear­ers. Car­di­nal Ti­mothy Dolan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and for­mer Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Brat­ton also were among those who at­tended the ser­vice.

De Blasio, a Demo­crat, said Tuoz­zolo was a hero who “gave his life pro­tect­ing his fel­low of­fi­cers, pro­tect­ing all of us. He laid down his life for his friends.”

Sergeants Benev­o­lent As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Ed Mullins said Tuoz­zolo was a “war­rior” who lived for his job and his fam­ily. The 41-year-old of­fi­cer would have been el­i­gi­ble to re­tire next year. He was the fifth New York City po­lice of­fi­cer to be fa­tally shot in the line of duty in the last two years.

“The mem­ory of Paul will be a part of this de­part­ment for­ever and ever and ever,” said po­lice chap­lain Mon­signor Robert Ro­mano.

Blue rib­bons were tied to trees and lamp­posts near the St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa; busi­nesses hung signs and photos of Tuoz­zolo with mes­sages of con­do­lences for his fam­ily. A po­lice he­li­copter hov­ered over the church as snipers stood watch on nearby rooftops.

The en­counter that took Tuoz­zolo’s life un­folded af­ter the gun­man, Manuel Ros­ales, had bro­ken into his es­tranged wife’s home. Ros­ales, of Brent­wood, stayed for hours be­fore flee­ing. He also was killed in the gun­fire.

Tuoz­zolo’s part­ner, Em­manuel Kwo, was treated at a hos­pi­tal for a leg wound. Mullins said Kwo told him that his part­ner “saved my life” and shouted “gun, gun, gun!” be­fore Ros­ales opened fire.

Au­thor­i­ties say Ros­ales had a his­tory of 17 ar­rests and served time in state prison for pos­ses­sion of stolen property. Suf­folk County Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Tim Sini said Ros­ales was bailed out of jail af­ter his last ar­rest, in July, on a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence charge. He said his of­fi­cers have “taken a hard look” at Ros­ales’ ar­rest his­tory as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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