NASSAU COUNTY — New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly attended the second day of wakes for Arthur Lopez, the celebrated Long Island cop who was killed by a crazed gunman days before.
As the memorials began Thursday afternoon, many of the roughly four dozen mourners wept as they somberly filed into a Merrick firehouse at 2300 Merrick Ave. around 2 p.m. for the first of several wakes for Lopez that will culminate in his funeral on Saturday.
Bloomberg, who arrived in a police helicopter, was one of several elected officials who turned out to pay their respects to Lopez, the Long Island Herald reported.
At Thursday's wake, Keith Blum, a fellow officer, flipped through photos of his fallen friend suspended from a ceiling, scaling trucks, and standing next to a helicopter.
“He always wanted to be a part of the action,” Blum said Thursday, trying to hold back tears. “Every day was like a new adventure for him.”
Friends and colleagues described Lopez, 29, as exceedingly dedicated to job, having been promoted to Nassau County’s elite emergency services unit at 26, an unusually young age.
"He came to the unit not because of experience, but because his work ethic made him stand out," said fellow ESU officer William Staker. “In all the photos you've seen of Artie, he's smiling. And the reason he's smiling all the time is because he loved the job."
Lopez was shot in the chest Tuesday morning when he pulled over Darrell Fuller, 33, on the Cross Island Parkway believing he was fleeing an accident.
Facey’s daughter said she plans to rename her newborn in honor of her slain father, the New York Post reported.
Fuller is believed to have fled in Facey’s car and was found hours later after a massive that involved hundreds of officers from both New York and Nassau County when police found him in another vehicle having just shot himself in an attempted suicide.
Lopez’s memorial took place only hours after Fuller, an ex-con, was arraigned on charges of murder, robbery, weapons possession, and violating parole.
As Fuller was being arraigned, authorities arrested Gerald Williams, the owner the 2000 Nissan Altima Fuller was captured in.
Police recovered the Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic handgun they believe was used in the double-murder inside Williams' car.
Fuller reportedly told Williams that he shot Lopez because he believed the officer was going to stun him with a tazer, the Post reported.
Hundreds of uniformed police officers attended Fuller’s arraignment in solidarity. Staker said he was overwhelmed seeing his friend’s alleged killer.
“There were a litany of things I would have liked to say to him,” Staker said. “It pushes you to your limit as a professional.”