Police officers line the street in front of Church of the Sacred Heart, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 in Monroe, N.Y., for the funeral service for New York City Police Officer Brian Mulkeen. Authorities say Mulkeen was fatally hit Sunday by two police bullets while struggling with an armed man in the Bronx. He is the second New York City officer killed by friendly fire this year. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NYPD officer killed by friendly fire is hailed as a hero

October 04, 2019 - 12:32 pm

MONROE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York City police officer killed by friendly fire during a struggle with an armed man was honored Friday at his funeral as a hero.

Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was hit Sunday by two police bullets while wrestling with the man in the Bronx, was the second New York City officer killed by friendly fire this year.

"We know we are laying to rest a hero," Mayor Bill de Blasio told mourners at the Mass.

Officers in dress uniforms stood at attention as a hearse bearing Mulkeen's remains arrived at the church in Monroe, north of New York City.

Bagpipers marched silently to the beat of a somber drum; the white-gloved officers crisply saluted as Mulkeen's flag-draped casket was carried into the church.

Mulkeen, who joined the department in January 2013, was working with a plainclothes anti-crime unit when he and his partners encountered the armed man.

The man fled on foot and officers chased him. Mulkeen and the man started to wrestle.

Police have described a chaotic confrontation in which 15 shots were fired in 10 seconds by six officers. Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney said five of those shots came from Mulkeen after the armed man reached toward his waistband.

The armed man was also killed in the gunfire.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill has called the situation "an absolute tragedy."

Mulkeen was a graduate of Fordham University's business school, and he worked as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch from 2007 to 2009. He lived in suburban Yorktown Heights with his girlfriend, who is also a police officer.

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Ryan Tarinelli is a corps member for Report for America , a nonprofit organization that supports local news coverage in a partnership with The Associated Press for New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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