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NYPD detective Troy Patterson dies 33 years after being shot during botched robbery

NYPD detective shot in 1990 dies
NYPD detective shot in 1990 dies 00:27

A New York City police officer who spent more than three decades in a vegetative state after being shot in the head during a botched robbery has died, officials said.

Detective Troy Patterson, who was off duty when he was shot on Jan. 16, 1990, died Saturday, Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said Monday.

Patterson was washing his car on a street in Brooklyn when he was approached by three young men who demanded $20, police said. One of the robbers, who was 15 years old, shot Patterson.

Patterson suffered a catastrophic injury and spent the next 33 years in what news reports describe as a vegetative state, though supporters held out hope that he would regain consciousness.

The NYPD had held an annual vigil to honor Patterson and NYPD Assistant Chief Judith Harrison said during a vigil for Patterson last year that she was "hoping for a miracle" more than 30 years after the shooting.

"The Police department has a saying, 'We will not forget,'" Harrison said in a video posted to Facebook last year. "But when we gather here, what we do is we put action behind those words. So we're here to celebrate Troy."

Off duty Police Officer Troy Patterson was shot in 1990 as he washed his car at a fire hydrant in front of 50 Jefferson Avenue. We have vowed to never forget, and we prove it every year by gathering with his family, friends and colleagues for a candlelight vigil in his honor.

Posted by NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn North on Sunday, January 16, 2022

DiGiacomo, who visited Patterson in his rehabilitation facility, said the wounded detective could respond with body movements.

A 27-year-old patrolman when he was shot, Patterson was promoted to detective in 2016.

"Detective Troy Patterson was a hero of New York City, who inspired hundreds of fellow Detectives to continue his courageous, important crime-fighting work," DiGiacomo said. "Troy's legacy will forever be one of service and sacrifice. The DEA will ensure he and his family are never forgotten."

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said on Twitter: "The NYPD mourns his loss and extends our continued support to his family & friends."

The three would-be robbers all served prison time for charges related to the shooting and have been released, DiGiacomo said.

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