Tragedy out of New York, where an NYPD chief shot himself in the head while sitting in an unmarked patrol car Wednesday.
According to sources, it happened just weeks before his scheduled mandatory retirement.
Steven Silks was just 62-years-old. He was the deputy chief of Queens North. Police say he was found shot in a parking lot a few blocks from his office at the 112thPrecinct Station house at about 6:30 p.m.
He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died.
“It’s terrible he would find himself in that place,” a Queens detective said. “Say a prayer for his family.”
A police source reported told The New York Post that Silks “absolutely lived for the NYPD.”
“He loved what he did. He was admired and loved by everybody. It’s heartbreaking,” the officer said.
On Tuesday, Silks handed in his paperwork at an NYPD union office and his last day was scheduled to be July 9.
The NYPD’s forces retirement at 63.
The president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association is Michael Palladino. He said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear about Silk’s death.
“He had such enthusiasm for the job and for life itself which makes this difficult to understand,” Palladino said in a statement. “He was one of the nicest human beings I ever met.”
It’s been a tragic week for law enforcement across America. Here are the latest incidents that have taken the lives of our brothers and sisters, and left others wounded over the past few days.
A Brevard County sheriff’s deputy was severely wounded Tuesday night during a shootout that started with an argument over feral cats, according to police.
It happened around 8:30 pm. In the 200 block of Avenida De La Vista in Indialantic, Florida.
The deputy’s name has not yet been released. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said the deputy was called to a neighborhood dispute over the feeding of feral cats when one of the men became upset.
Ivey says the deputy went behind a parked vehicle nearby and heard what sounded like the gunman charging a rifle.
When the gunman came back outside, he opened fire. Ivey said the deputy used all of the rounds in one of his magazines and had to re-load – but was able to kill the gunman.
“I can tell you that our deputy did see him with the gun and him coming at our deputy and our deputy’s life was in danger and he had to take immediate tactical actions,” Ivey said during a news conference.
The deputy returned fire and the man was later pronounced dead.
The deputy was hit several times and underwent surgery overnight at Holmes Regional Medical Center, but he is expected to be OK, according to Ivey.
Sheriff Ivey on injured deputy: "His statement to me was "I won." I could not be more proud of our deputy for his actions, for his tactical preparedness."
— Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) June 5, 2019
Ivey said he visited the deputy at the hospital, who simply told him, “I won.”
“This started out as disturbance,” Ivey said. “We tell our community all the time that sometimes going out on disturbances is one of the most dangerous parts of our team’s job.”
The deputy will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.
It’s the first time a Brevard County deputy has been seriously wounded in a shooting since August 2015. That’s when Agent John “Casey” Smith was shot several times while conducting a prostitution investigation in Port St. John.
The second shooting happened in Ardsley, New York.
Police say two police sergeants were shot during a drug arrest at a Westchester County motel and that the suspect was killed in the shootout.
It happened at the Ardsley Acres Motel on Saw Mill River Road just before 11pm Monday.
Police say FBI agents were executing a search warrant that was assisted by Ardsley police and other departments.
The suspect was 42-year-old Samuel Galberth, of West Haven, Connecticut. He was wanted in connection with an investigation in Connecticut where his girlfriend was found dead a few months ago.
Galberty “came out of a room and engaged opened fire in gunfire,” Ardsley Police Chief Anthony Picolino said. “Multiple shots were exchanged between the officers and the suspect.”
He says a Greenburgh police sergeant was hit in the chest, but the bullet was luckily stopped by the officer’s vest. A Dobbs Ferry sergeant was also hit in the leg, possibly by a ricochet.
Galberth was pronounced dead at Westchester County Medical Center. Both officers were released from the hospital.
“All I heard was hundreds of gunshots, hundreds of them,” motel guest Anthony Passananti said. “I had just walked out to get my charger, and I saw the guys run up and down. And then I just heard shots, flash bombs, shots, unbelievable gunfire. I saw the one cop come out, he got shot over here, because they took his vest off and then they took him away.”
Chief Picolino said there is no ongoing criminal activity at the motel, and specified that police were was targeting the suspect.
“We have a secure scene, we are not looking for anybody,” he said. “This was contained, and there’s nothing for them to worry about. The scene is safe, the village is safe.”
Police arrested a second man who had been in the motel room and charged him in connection with an interstate warrant for bank robbery.
Also in the room they found a woman reported missing by her family in New Haven. The took her into custody, but it is not yet clear if she was being held against her will.
“It’s quiet,” one neighbor said. “I don’t stay there, but it doesn’t give me any problems. And this just isn’t what we’re used to.”
The Westchester County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating whether the sergeants were injured by gunfire from the suspect, or if it was friendly fire.
The DA’s office released a statement that said, in part, “We wish them a speedy and thorough recovery. At this time, we want to commend the brave FBI agents and police officers who responded and put themselves in harm’s way to protect the people of Westchester County.”
In the meantime, the family of an officer who was savagely beaten on Memorial Day in Sour Lake, Texas is asking the country to pray.
Officer William ‘Bill’ McKeon Junior is just 59-years-old. On Sunday evening, his daughter went on Facebook and mentioned that he was in a coma. She asked for prayers for the severely injured officer.
It happened on the night of May 27 when McKeon was answering a call (details of the attack below).
“We don’t know how to do this on our own. We can’t. We need supernatural prayer for our dad, we need supernatural peace in the interim,” said just before 5 p.m. Sunday.
Burns said doctors told the family that McKeon is in a coma, and that he could wake up in three weeks or as long as three months.
She ends with a passage from Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Local media outlets spoke to Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson Sunday evening, said that as recently as Saturday McKeon had been responsive to doctors.
On Friday, doctors wired McKeon’s jaw shut during surgery and repaired fractures to his face, forehead and sinus cavity Burleson said.
He’s also asking for continued prayer for the recovery of McKeon who remains in the intensive care unit.
Officer McKeon had been doing side jobs to help support his family. He’s obviously unable to do that right now, and so a friend of the family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to try and help provide some financial relief.
McKeon is a four-year veteran of the Sour Lake Police Department.
Here’s what we know about what happened.
Bradley Joseph Pruitt, 45, is accused of brutally assaulting McKeon outside a Sour Lake convenience store. Sources tell law enforcement today that Pruitt has a history of violence agains law enforcement and others.
Pruitt, who according to a Hardin County Sheriff’s Office news release is from Bowling Green, Kentucky, was wanted by the Las Cruces, New Mexico District Attorney Office. They were searching for him for failure to appear on an original case of possession of a firearm or destructive device.
At about 8:30 p.m. on Memorial Day, McKeon was dispatched to a call about an “unwanted person” the J & R Market at the intersection of Hwy 105 and 326 in Sour lake according to Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson.
Shortly after McKeon arrived, there was a confrontation between him and the suspect. Police Pruitt beat McKeon leaving him with “traumatic head injuries”.
They say Pruitt then stole McKeon’s Sour lake Police SUV and fled heading north on Highway 326.
At first, officers thought McKeon had been shot as initial callers to dispatch reported hearing gunfire.
Firefighters and medics from the Sour Lake Volunteer Fire Department as well as Acadian Ambulance responded to the scene and also thought McKeon was shot due to the amount of blood on his face and body.
Officer McKeon was transported by an Acadian Air Med helicopter to Christus St. Elizabeth hospital in Beaumont, and police say it wasn’t discovered until McKeon arrived via helicopter at the Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital emergency room that he had not been shot but had been beaten.
Officers and deputies and K-9 units from the Beaumont Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety joined Hardin County Sheriff’s deputies and Sour Lake Police officers in the search for the suspect. They soon after found McKeon’s abandoned Sour Lake Police SUV along Texas Highway 326 between Sour Lake and Kountze.
They searched the area through the night, and the suspect was believed to have been spotted at least twice overnight.
At daylight the following morning, troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety took the suspect into custody in the 6400 block of Texas Highway 326 according to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.
Pruitt is believed to be a transient the sheriff’s office said, and was taken to the Hardin County Jail. He’s now accused of taking the officer’s service weapon, aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated assault, evading arrest with vehicle, unlawful possession of firearm by felon and take weapon from officer according to the release.
He’s being held on a $4 million bond.
Point 27 sent Thin Blue Line Dog Tags to McKeon’s department and the department that caught the man who attack Officer McKeon. They are the group who originally made Law Enforcement Today aware of this brutal attack and are joining us in prayer for McKeon and his family.