BROOKLYN, New York (PIX11) — A police officer and father of four who died from wounds he suffered while stuck in a smoky Coney Island high-rise elevator will be laid to rest Monday morning.
Officer Dennis Guerra, 38, and his partner were pulled unconscious April 6 from the building at 2007 Surf Ave., where a 16-year-old allegedly set a discarded mattress ablaze on the 13th floor, apparently because he was bored.
While responding to the emergency, the officers became trapped by smoke inside an elevator, frantically calling for help over the radio and telling dispatch, “I can’t breathe.”
An 8-year veteran of the force, Guerra suffered severe smoke inhalation and was placed in a medically induced coma hours before his death April 9.
Guerra’s partner Rosa Rodriguez, 36, was also hurt in the fire. She remained in critical condition Monday, her family saying that she is on the mend but still has a long way to go in her recovery.
After Guerra’s death, 16-year-old Marcell Dockery was indicted on a second-degree murder charge for his alleged role in starting the deadly fire. Dockery had already been charged with arson, assault and reckless endangerment.
If convicted, Dockery faces up to 25 years to life in prison. The teen is being held without bail.
Guerra is the first NYPD officer killed in the line of duty since 2011. Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to the husband and father at a Sunday wake, and more are expected at his funeral.
Guerra’s funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Rockaway Beach.