The New York City police officers killed in Saturday’s shooting are being remembered for their commitment to community and family.
Rafael Ramos, 40, was a two-year veteran of the NYPD who previously worked as a school security officer. The lifelong Brooklyn resident was married and had two sons, the youngest of whom is 13.
Wenjian Liu, 32, was a seven-year veteran of the NYPD. He moved earlier this year to Brooklyn's Gravesend section and was married two months ago.
The officers were fatally wounded as they sat inside their parked patrol car in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The gunman, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later shot himself to death, authorities said. Mourners held vigils in the city Sunday to honor the lives of the slain officers.
Ramos’ son Jaden posted on Facebook about how much his father meant to him.
“He was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad,” he wrote.
Lucy Ramos, the victim’s aunt, spoke at a vigil Sunday, saying he will “always be loved and missed by many.”
“I hope and pray that we can reflect on this tragic loss of lives that have occurred, so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence,” she said.
Ramos' cousin, Ronnie Gonzalez, said the family has already forgiven the gunman.
"He's in the hands of God now," Gonzalez said. "We don't believe in vengeance, we just forgive."
Neighbors of Liu were shocked to learn of the shooting, remembering the officer for his quiet, kind presence.
“He was a great neighbor, I had tears in my eyes when I heard about it,” neighbor Hanif Khan told ABC station WABC.The Associated Press contributed to this report.