CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan — It’s a street that connects Manhattan’s west and east side and now it bears the name of late Det. Steven McDonald.
It’s fitting because these are the streets and acres of parkland he patrolled as a cop in the Central Park precinct, before his life would be forever changed.
He was responding to a report of a bicycle theft in the park in 1986 and was shot by a 15-year-old, leaving him a quadriplegic and in need of a ventilator.
He died in January from a heart attack, 31 years after the shooting.
“1986 does not seem so long ago, yet when I look around this beautiful city I realize how far along we all have come,” said Patti McDonald, his widow.
After the shooting, Det. McDonald forgave the shooter and focused his energy on spreading a message of peace.
“He affected people in countless ways all around the world, we could dedicate countless streets to him,” said police commissioner James O’Neill.
“We all know that Steven’s journey was not an easy one. It was a challenge, and there was pain every step along the way, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone handle the challenge better,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
McDonald’s son Connor is an NYPD sergeant, he said he hopes as people pass the street named for him, they’ll consider living their lives the way he did.
“Every single day, he believed in what he practiced and priest. He never had any anger against the young boy who shot him or his family,” he said.
“As Steven told Connor and I countless times, never forget love is the way and the truth,” Patti said.