NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered flags lowered to half-staff Sunday in honor of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was killed earlier in the morning in the Bronx.
Mulkeen was fatally shot during a struggle with a suspect after a foot chase. He was pronounced dead at Jacobi Hospital.
"We lost a hero by every measure, we lost a hero," de Blasio said. "This family needs our support. It's very painful in every way, but to think that their son made this choice and now has given his life. We have to be there for him."
Police said 33-year-old Brian Mulkeen was a nearly seven-year veteran of the NYPD serving with the anti-crime unit in the 47th Precinct.
Friends said Mulkeen always had a desire to serve. He got his start in law enforcement as a dispatcher with the Tuxedo Police Department in Orange County. Pictures were taken just before he left for the NYPD in 2013. In a statement, Tuxedo Police Sgt. Douglas Russell told CBS2's Christina Fan, "He was truly one of those cops that you'd want to arrive upon your time of need. He'd go the extra mile without a second thought."
Mulkeen lived in the Westchester County enclave of Yorktown Heights with his girlfriend, who is also an NYPD officer in the Bronx. Neighbor Dan Bellor said Mulkeen was kind, and one of their first interactions was last year during Halloween.
"Last year trick-or-treating, we went to his house. I think he was just moving and he didn't have too much candy, so he offered money to my kids. I think they liked the money better than the candy. He just was a great guy. It is very unfortunate," Bellor said.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer also ordered flags lowered at county facilities.
"At this time, we as a County, offer our sympathy and support to his family," Latimer's statement said in part.
Mulkeen graduated from Fordham University, where he competed in track-and field. He recently made the decision to rejoin his alma mater as a volunteer throwing coach. Flags on campus are also flying at half staff on Sunday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the following statement:
"I am absolutely heartbroken by the tragic loss of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was shot and killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning in The Bronx. At 33, Officer Mulkeen was taken far, far too early from his family and from the city he sacrificed everything to protect. He is the embodiment of bravery and a true New York hero. On behalf of the New York family, I extend my deepest sympathies to Officer Mulkeen's family and loved ones during this excruciatingly painful period and I ask all New Yorkers to keep them in their prayers."
Other area officials expressed their condolences.
"We ask the churches and synagogues and mosques to open their doors today and allow our citizens to come in and realize that they're allowed to worship in freedom because of police officers like Brian," said Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch. "We ask them in part of their sermon today to ask their folks in those pews, the citizens of this city to bow their heads and think about a family upstairs that can't pick their head up because they're so grief-stricken.
"We stand in solidarity with our NYPD brothers and sisters as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was killed in the line of duty this morning. Officer Mulkeen will be remembered as a hero, who died protecting the safety of this great city and fighting violence the community that he called home. On behalf of all of the members of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, we offer our sincerest condolences to Officer Mulkeen's loved ones. His courage, service, and sacrifice will be remembered by us all," said Gerard Fitzgerald, president of the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was killed this morning while on patrol in the Bronx. Officer Mulkeen will forever be remembered as a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting crime and making the City of New York a safer place for its residents. Officer Mulkeen will never be forgotten, and police officers everywhere stand together in mourning his loss," Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James McDermott added.
Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement:
"Early this morning, NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen was killed in the line of duty, and today, New York is a little darker. Officer Mulkeen dedicated his career to protecting New Yorkers, always putting others before himself, to ensure our communities were safe. I send my deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, and the entire NYPD. Today, our city lost a hero."
The New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, said they are donating $25,000 to Mulkeen's family.
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