BETHPAGE, N.Y. – The morning after hundreds of fellow officers paid their respects to Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo's wife and two young sons on Long Island for the slain NYPD member's wake, they are again expected to gather Thursday for his procession and funeral.
Some struggled with the reality on Wednesday – their mentor and fellow cop died in the line of duty last Friday.
The 41-year-old proudly and bravely served for nearly 20 years in the NYPD. He was assigned to the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx.
Tuozzolo had most recently been working with domestic violence victims. It was a call for a mother and her child in danger that put him in the line of fire last Friday.
The victim's estranged husband, an ex-con out on bail shot Tuozzolo as he tried to escape.
A police recruit on field training shot the career criminal to death.
Tuozzolo's sacrifice had fellow officers giving high praise for their fallen comrade.
"He was dedicated to his job, the men and women he supervised looked up to him so much," NYPD inspector Fausto Pichardo said.
"It's a terrible tragedy and should be a reminder of how tough a cop's job is," Rep. Peter King said.
Tuzozzolo's funeral is being held Thursday morning at Saint Rose of Lima Church, where Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill are expected to join his family and fellow cops.