BY Rocco Parascandola
Tina Moore , Denis Slattery
The father of slain New York City Police Officer Brian Moore saluted his son Monday as his body was carried from the hospital where he died.
Retired NYPD Sgt. Raymond Moore was among the hundreds of officers standing at attention outside Jamaica Hospital after Moore’s valiant two-day struggle to survive being shot in the face by a violent ex-con ended in tragedy.
Moore was just 25, and his death plunged the NYPD into mourning.
He was the first cop killed in the line of duty since December, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed by a cop-hating maniac as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn. And his passing drew condolences from beat cops and strangers all the way up to President Obama.
“He came from a family of police officers, and the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers,” said Obama, who was at Lehman College in the Bronx on Monday for an appearance related to a nonprofit when the brave officer died.
“Not just today, but every day. They’ve got a tough job.”
Moore’s death was felt deeply at the 105th Precinct in Queens Village, where he was based. Many officers had just returned from a funeral for a cop from the same precinct who died of a possible 9/11-related illness when they found Moore was also gone.
Minutes after Moore’s death was announced, 35-year-old career criminal Demetrius Blackwell was slapped with a first-degree murder charge.
Prosecutors will seek a grand jury indictment against Blackwell on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
The suspected murder weapon — a silver .38-caliber Taurus Model 85 revolver — was found under a box near a barbecue grill in a yard that Blackwell ran through in an attempt to escape the law, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. Three spent shells and two live rounds were found in the chamber.
It was one of 23 guns stolen Oct. 3, 2011, from a bait-and-tackle shop in Perry, Ga., Boyce said. Nine of those guns turned up in New York City, he said.
Meanwhile, Moore’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Manhattan for an autopsy.
“It is with great regret and sadness I announce the passing of New York City Police Officer Brian Moore, shield No, 469, New York City police officer, hero of the city, killed in the line of duty,” Bratton announced earlier.
Bratton noted that Moore had made more than 150 arrests in just five years on the job. He earned two medals for meritorious police duty and two for excellent police duty.
“We don’t give them out easily,” Bratton said. “He worked for them. He earned them.”
Moore’s uncle and cousin were also cops. And they were with Moore at his hospital bedside when he died.
“He prevented crime and disorder,” Bratton added of the young officer.
“He strove for a safer, fitter city. He was a cop.”
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said “there’s no closure for a New York City police officer’s family in death.”
“But when we’re done here, when we square our shoulders and wipe our tears for Brian and his family, those same police officers are going to turn around and they’re gonna staff radio cars and foot posts and they’re gonna ride on our subways and work those stairwells,” he said. “They may have sadness in their eyes, but they have bravery in their hearts.”
Mayor de Blasio, who has had a rocky relationship with the NYPD, steered clear of the hospital on Monday at Bratton’s suggestion.
“Today was a day for members of the NYPD to be together at that hospital,” the mayor said, adding that he was there Saturday. “It’s not a place, in my view, for elected officials.”
De Blasio heaped praise upon Moore.
“We lost one of the best amongst us, a young man who was called to do good for others, to serve others, who was willing to put his life on the line,” he said.
De Blasio ordered flags flown at half-staff. Officials said the wake and funeral would be later this week, possibly Thursday and Friday. His name will join the NYPD’s “Wall of Heroes” at Police Headquarters, which now honors 759 officers who died in the line of duty since 1854. The names of five more officers are slated to be put on the wall.
Moore was the second graduate of Plainedge High School in North Massapequa, L.I., to die in the line of duty, the other being Officer Edward Byrne, who was killed in 1988.
Byrne’s murder outside the South Jamaica home of a witness in a drug case also drew national attention and led to the restoration of the death penalty in New York in 1995.
Shortly before word of Moore’s death leaked out, two grim-faced officers carrying a dress uniform and a pair of polished shoes were spotted at the hospital.
It was believed to be Moore’s uniform.
Meanwhile, grieving police officers left flowers on the doorstep of Moore’s home in Massapequa, L.I.
“We’re all thinking of Brian,” said Officer Danny Roberts, who worked with Moore for a time at the 105th Precinct.
Over at the precinct, a woman who declined to give her name dropped off a bouquet of tiger lilies and roses.
“I’m sorry,” she said, choking up as she greeted a couple of police officers outside the stationhouse.
“He took a bullet for the whole neighborhood.”
Gov. Cuomo also praised Moore.
“The shooting of Officer Brian Moore over the weekend was a deplorable act of violence that has robbed New York of one of its Finest,” he said.
Blackwell, a self-described “hell-raiser” and a cousin of former Giants cornerback Kory Blackwell, has a lengthy rap sheet — and a prior history of attacking cops.
Moore was driving an unmarked police car about 6 p.m. Saturday when he and partner Erik Jansen, 30, pulled up behind Blackwell, whom they had spotted “adjusting an object in his waistband,” Bratton said.
The doomed plainclothes police officer identified himself as a cop and asked, according to a source, “Do you have something in your waistband?”
Blackwell responded: “Yeah, I got something.”
Then he whipped out a gun and fired two or three shots into the officers’ car at the corner of 212th St. and 104th Road, police said. Moore was hit in the cheek but Jansen escaped injury.
Blackwell, who has nine prior arrests, including two for assaulting cops, was nabbed 90 minutes later.