By Sandra Garcia
Special to DNAinfo.com New York
INWOOD — Friends and family gathered over the weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of an Inwood man who was shot and killed by an undercover police officer last September.
John Collado was shot and killed by an undercover narcotics detective at his doorstep on Sept. 8, 2011 when his family said he attempted to break up what he thought was a fight between two men. A grand jury opted not to indict the detective who shot Collado. His family pushed for a federal investigation on the handling of the case.
Dozens of people at his memorial at La Puerta Estrecha on Sherman Avenue over the weekend said they still hope for justice in his death.
"This has been the hardest year of my life,” said Collado's wife Amarillis Collado, as their 2-year-old son John Jr. clutched her leg. “Nothing has changed for my family, if anything things have gotten worse. As time goes on we begin to realize that he will not come back."
As many remembered Collado’s life, his daughter Amy Collado, 16, said she can't forget his death.
“It’s affected me a lot, I have eating and sleeping problems now," she said. I’m sure my brothers and sisters feel the same way I do right now but I can keep a smile on my face, they can’t.”
The memorial was an intimate event where friends and family recalled Collado as a slideshow of photographs detailed special moments from his life.
“John’s life was a life filled with what he valued the most, family, love and community,” said his sister-in-law Elizabeth Rooney.
Community leader Angelo Ortiz said those wishing to help the family can make donations in honor of Collado to Inwood Community Services. The donations will be used for community programs on Post Avenue.
“John really loved his neighborhood and his block so we are going to involve the Collado family in the implementation of the ongoing activities on Post Avenue,” said Ortiz, the Unit Director for Youth Services.
Donations can be sent via Paypal to Inwood Community Services. The note in the memo should read “In Memory of John Collado”.