NEW YORK — Monday marked 35 years since NYPD Det. Steven McDonald was shot and paralyzed by a teenager in Central Park.
A small memorial service was held in Central Park Wednesday morning.
The first-grade detective, who passed away in 2017, was revered in the NYPD for his courage, faith and forgiveness after the shooting.
McDonald was shot three times by a 15-year-old suspected bike thief in Central Park in 1986. Immediately following the catastrophic injury, it wasn’t certain he would survive days, much less years.
Breathing with the help of a respirator and using a wheelchair, he remained on active duty with the department, often traveling from precinct to precinct to speak with and inspire young police officers.
McDonald died in January 2017 after suffering a heart attack.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea remembered McDonald on Monday.
“Today marks 35 years since Detective Steven McDonald was shot while protecting the city of New York. We never forget the example he has left us with and the love he showed everyone. We miss you Steve,” Shea said on Twitter.
The 35th anniversary of the shooting was commemorated as the city grapples with an increase in gun violence.
There have been at least 803 shooting incidents so far this year in New York City with more than 930 victims compared to 623 shootings at the same time last year with 762 victims, according to the NYPD.
In late June, the Justice Department announced plans to launch a task force to New York City to help combat gun violence.