THE BRONX — The Suffolk County District Attorney, responding to criticism from the wife of a Long Island man who fatally shot NYPD Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo in Van Nest on Friday, blamed a state judge for setting a low bail for the repeat felon after a series of domestic violence arrests.
Manuel Rosales, 35, killed Tuozzolo, a married father with two sons, in a shootout at 1575 Noble Ave. after breaking into his estranged wife's home by Beach Avenue and Merrill Street, sources said.
Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo was hit in the leg during the shootout as well, and multiple officers then began firing at Rosales, hitting him several times and killing him, sources said.
The gunman's wife Tia Carmela Rosales wrote a lengthy Facebook post about the incident on Saturday and blamed the Suffolk County DA's office for letting her husband go after two back-to-back domestic violence attacks in June and July, saying that he never should have been back out on the street.
"Instead of taking proper measure, a gross negligence occurred and he was released," she writes.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota defended his prosecutors' actions, saying that they had requested bail for him to be set at $20,000 cash with no bond alternative.
However, Judge Pierce Cohalan set his bail at $2,000 or $1,000 cash, which Rosales was able to post, according Spota.
Cohalan could not be reached for comment.
Rosales' estranged wife also apologized to the officer's family in her Facebook post, writing that she cannot stop thinking about them.
"I am just so sorry for that Sergeant and his family. So sick to my stomach," she writes. "As hurt and distraught and grief stricken as I am by this end, I can't stop also thinking of that officer and his wife and children...I'm devastated."
She wrote that Rosales had a debilitating mental illness he could not overcome and suffered through a traumatic childhood where he witnessed his mother get abused several times.
Although she described their marriage as often "painful and scary," she noted that there were good moments as well when he was not struggling with his mental illness and could be funny, kind and charming.
"When the clouds parted, however brief, and Manny was able to just be Manny, he was still the man I married," she writes, "and I will miss him every day for the rest of my life."
Rosales had been arrested multiple times before for crimes including attempted assault and criminal possession of stolen property, according to state records.
"I will not sit here and say that my husband was a great man, or that he is not responsible for his terrible actions... He is responsible," his estranged wife writes. "But he was a human being and unable to overcome his childhood, some of us just can't."