The four daughters who lost their father in a brutal 2011 shooting appeared in court today, as the trial for his alleged shooter began today.
NYPD detective Peter Figoski was shot dead by Lamont Pride in the dangerous Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York two Decembers ago, prosecutors allege.
One of the slain cop’s daughters, Caitlyn Figoski, had to leave the courtroom at one point as the jury heard in gruesome detail how Pride allegedly shot him in the face at close range.
The New York Daily News reports that the young woman nearly fainted and needed assistance from her mother, Paulette, to exit; the distressed blonde did not return until opening statements were nearly over.
The opening statements are being held today in Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Both Pride and Michael Velez are facing murder charges in Figoski’s death. Police say that the two were attempting to rob the home of a suspected drug dealer, NY1 reports.
Pride confessed to shooting the officer out of panic as officers arrived on scene; Velez is accused of driving the getaway car.
According to the New York Post, Figoski’s widow and four daughters were present in the courtroom, joined by his brothers in blue.
Each appeared somber-faced as they listened to the trial proceedings.
NY1 reports that one of the alleged accomplices, Ariel Tejada, cut a deal to testify against Pride and Velez in exchange for a lighter sentencing.
During his 22-year career in the force, he earned12 medals and made more than 200 arrests.
He was posthumously promoted to detective, first-class.
Figoski’s top priority was always his daughters and it was widely known he put off retirement to ensure he had enough money to put them all through college.
His funeral drew up to 20,000 police officers, family members, and friends to the church in Long Island where the girls and their father were all baptized.
There are also four alleged accomplices: Nelson Morales, 27, who is accused of being the ringleader; Ariel Tejada, 22; alleged getaway driver Michael Velez, 21, and 30-year-old ex-con Kevin Santos, were also indicted in the slaying.
They are accused of trying to steal from a marijuana dealer in a basement apartment in the notoriously dangerous Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York.
When they allegedly broke in and began beating the dealer, a neighbour called 911.
Figoski and his partner were providing backup to two officers when Pride and another man tried to flee, police said.
During a struggle between his partner and one of the suspects, Mr Figoski came face-to-face with Pride, who allegedly shot him before the officer could draw his own weapon. He died in hospital hours later.