NEW YORK CITY — A Bronx NYPD detective, who was serving with the Air National Guard, died Monday in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan that also killed six other soldiers, officials said.
Joseph Lemm, who'd been with the NYPD for 15 years and on his second Afghanistan tour, was attacked by a bomber on a motorcycle in Bagram, according to officials and CNN.
"Lemm epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement issued late Monday.
"Tonight, we grieve and we remember this selfless public servant who dedicated his life to protecting others," the commissioner added.
The attack, which the Taliban claimed responsibility for, killed six other American soldiers, whose identities have not yet been released, according to CNN.
Lemm worked in the Bronx Warrant Squad and had been promoted in January, NYPD officials said.
He is survived by his wife and two children, police said.
He was a big fan of Barino's Market, an Italian food store in The Bronx that he used to visit all the time, according to manager Irene Feraca.
"I used to call him Superman because of the way he was built," she said. "He just reminded me of Superman."
Lemm was particularly fond of the market's mozzarella and sausages and would always walk in with a smile, Feraca said, describing him as a hard worker, a devoted father and husband and "just a real honest to goodness man."
Lemm had been deployed twice in Afghanistan and once in Iraq, officials said.
"He gave his life, yet asked for little in return other than to serve his country and his fellow New Yorkers, who may not have known him in life, but mourn his death nonetheless," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
"I also want us to remember the families in New York City – and across the country – who have an empty chair at the dinner table because one of their loved ones went off to defend our country and never came back."