Beloved New York City cop Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot in 1986, has died at age 59 after an apparent heart attack, the New York Times reports.
McDonald's death was announced by Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, and he leaves behind his wife, Patricia Ann Norris-McDonald, who is the mayor of Malverne, New York, and son, Conor, a sergeant with the NYPD.
After McDonald was shot by a 15-year-old boy and rendered paralyzed from the waist down over 30 years ago, he dedicated his life to championing forgiveness and peace. He forgave his shooter, and remained with the NYPD as a detective. McDonald often spoke about his faith, and had a deep friendship with Father Mychal Judge a New York City fire department chaplain who was killed on 9/11 as he ministered to victims at the scene.
“No one could have predicted that Steven would touch so many people, in New York and around the world,” Commissioner O’Neill said. “Like so many cops, Steven joined the N.Y.P.D. to make a difference in people’s lives. And he accomplished that every day.”
McDonald suffered an apparent heart attack on Friday, and never regained consciousness before passing away Tuesday at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York.
A full NYPD funeral is planned for 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a close friend of McDonald’s, is set to officiate.