HARLEM — NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, who was shot dead as he chased a suspect, was remembered as a guiding light in a memorial and plaque dedication ceremony Thursday.
Dozens of members of his family and his fellow officers gathered at the Police Service Area 5, at 221 E. 123rd Street, in East Harlem to unveil the plaque and memorialize him.
Holder, 33, who moved from Guyana to the United States to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, was fatally shot during a chase and gunfight on a pedestrian overpass along the FDR Drive in October 2015.
The five-year NYPD veteran was shot in the head responding to a report of gang-related gunshots in a park at East 102nd Street and the FDR Drive.
Tyrone Howard was charged with his murder.
“He went after the gunman — one of the hardest things we could ask of someone who protects us — and that gunman senselessly took Detective Holder’s life,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Despite the shock and despite the grief, I started to look at the heroism of this man and I started to understand why he felt such a noble calling to the NYPD.”=
“There was a young man who found his dream and lived it.”
The plaque, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said, will tell the next generation of officers that Holder’s tenure as an officer was “a story of bravery.”
“This was a man who cared deeply about his family, his fellow cops and the good people of the city,” said O’Neill.
“We will make certain that all who come into this building this day forward, that those who never knew him, know that his life mattered.”
Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, said he will be remembered as someone who was a counselor to his fellow officers.
“He was our compass... he lived as a lion each and every day,” Lynch said.
“He gave that courage to his fellow police officers each and every day in this very muster room, in the radio cars, on those street corners and hallways.
“He learned it by watching each and every one of you in his family… your son taught us that,” he told Holder’s emotional parents.
Holder’s father, Randolph Holder Sr., spoke briefly to the crowd before the end of the ceremony.
“I am very honored this afternoon to witness this ceremony and I want to thank everyone for your support that you have given me and my family throughout the years,” he said.