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NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller's death fills hometown of Massapequa Park with grief

NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller's death fills hometown of Massapequa Park with grief
NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller's death fills hometown of Massapequa Park with grief 03:30

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. -- Tuesday marked the first of what's going to be very difficult days ahead for family and friends of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday evening in Queens.

Diller's body was to be transferred to the Massapequa Funeral Home, followed by two days of wakes beginning on Thursday. It's all part of the tragic aftermath of what the community is calling a sickening and senseless loss of life.

Jonathan Diller was killed in the line of duty on March 25, 2024, in Far Rockaway, Queens. NYPD

Across Nassau County and in Diller's hometown of Massapequa Park, flags were lowered as grief set in on the block where the officer and his young wife were raising a baby boy.

"Every day that my son goes to work, I pray to God," said neighbor Naomi Sanchez, whose son also serves on the thin blue line. "It's very, very sad. It's very unfair to the police officers who go out there every day to work and end up giving up their life to protect us."

Added neighbor James Bonilla, "The suspects were involved with weapons before and they let them out. I think of all the cops as being family."

Police surrounded the home where the 31-year-old member of New York's Finest left for work Monday, never to return.

After recently rejoicing at their son's baptism, neighbors on Tuesday tied blue ribbons, left flowers at the Diller's doorstep, and produced an outpouring of support on social media. That where Diller's brother-in-law posted, "What started out as an everyday car stop instantly became a moment where so many lives would be turned upside down. Jon leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old son who will now grow up without his father. To those of you out there in the streets ... to think horrible events like this can't happen to you ... remember those who love you at those moments. You were a good man and a great father whose shoes can never filled."

Diller grew up in Franklin Square and attended SUNY Maritime before moving to a community of first responders.

"We are here for one another. It's just a big extended family and our hearts pour out for the NYPD family, his extended family. It's a tragic loss," Massapequa Park Mayor Daniel Pearl said.

The community will hold a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Brady Park in Massapequa Park, just a couple of miles from where another park in the community is named for NYPD Officer Brian Moore, who was killed in the line of duty nine years ago. 

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