NYPD Officer Dies After 33 Years in Vegetative State

A New York City police detective who spent 33 years in a vegetative state after being shot in the head in Brooklyn in 1990 died in New Jersey on April 29, police said.

Troy Patterson was off duty and washing his car in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood when he was approached by three young males who demanded $20, according to CBS News. One of them, a 15-year-old, then shot Patterson in the head, causing what police say were “catastrophic” injuries.

“Although he survived, he never regained consciousness. His son was 5 years old at the time,” police said.

On May 1, NYPD officers lined up to salute Patterson’s remains as they were transferred to a funeral home in Brooklyn. “We will continue to honor his legacy and vow never to forget our fallen hero,” the NYPD said.

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

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who announced Patterson’s death on April 30 and was present outside the funeral home, said: “Whether it was 3 months or over 30 years ago, the NYPD never forgets. It is the pledge that we make to every member when they walk through the doors of our academy. It is our vow to lend our unwavering support to their families and honor legacies like that of Detective Troy Patterson.”

Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, a police labor union, described Patterson as “a hero of New York City” and an inspiration to “hundreds of fellow detectives.” Credit: NYPD via Storyful

Video transcript