Photo Courtesy of NYPD
Byrne was murdered as he sat in a marked patrol car outside the Jamaica home of a family that agreed to testify against neighborhood drug dealers.
By Forum Staff
Southern borough civic leaders, elected officials, clergy, community members, and firefighters on Sunday morning joined the City Police Department in Jamaica in marking the anniversary of the death of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.
Hundreds gathered at the corner of Inwood Street and 107th Avenue, where Byrne was murdered 29 years ago. A member of the NYPD for only seven months, Byrne was ambushed, shot and killed while he sat in his marked patrol car outside the house of a critical witness in a drug case in the early morning hours of Feb. 26, 1988.
According to authorities, the four men that were convicted of the assassination were members of a drug gang that had been instructed to kill a police officer. At approximately 3:30 a.m., one of the suspects knocked on the passenger-side window of Byrne’s car to distract him as a second man opened fire just outside the driver’s side window. Byrne was shot five times in the head. He was 22 years old.
“I want to thank you on behalf of the Byrne family for gathering here for the 29th time and I want to thank you on behalf of our NYPD family for coming together on another cold evening,” said Deputy Commissioner Lawrence Byrne, who leads the department’s Legal Matters bureau. “To make this city so much safer than it was in 1988 is nothing short of extraordinary and incredible. You’ve done an amazing job and there can be no greater tribute to Eddie than the drive to fight down crime.”