Where is Brian, the dad demanded, shouting into his phone. Where is he?
It was two weeks ago — 6:30 on the first Saturday night in May — and retired NYPD Sgt. Raymond Moore had dialed the cellphone of his son, a police officer, after hearing that a cop from the kid’s 105th Precinct had just been shot.
The first time he dialed, it just rang.
“I called back again, and another officer picked up the phone,” Moore remembered of the call that shattered his life.
In an exclusive interview with The Post, Moore, 57, spoke publicly for the first time about the May 2 assassination of his son, Detective First Grade Brian Moore, 25, with whom he shared his Massapequa, LI, home.
The decorated anti-crime cop was fatally shot on a quiet street in Queens Village when he pulled his unmarked car alongside a career con, identified himself, and asked, “Do you have something in your waistband?”
“We were close,” Moore said of his only son, a kid who had planned to be a cop, like his dad and his Uncle Ron, since grade school.
Brian Moore at age 8, wearing his dad’s NYPD uniform on Halloween.
“People talk to their sons sometimes like once a week,” Moore said. “I talked to him every day. He was my buddy. He was my roommate. I mean, we were more than just father and son. We were friends.”
The father spoke at length of his hopes for the NYPD. The department deserves more respect on the streets, he said, and more cops on its payroll.
“The more police, the safer the streets will be,” the dad said, agreeing with the demands of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and the City Council that have been rejected by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“They should find the money somehow, somewhere. I don’t think that’s an area where you can cut back.”
Moore also told of his hopes for his son’s alleged killer.
Demetrius Blackwell, 35, lived near the shooting scene and has a long record of violence. He was charged with murder after being implicated by multiple witnesses.
“I hope, when he gets convicted and goes to jail, that he rots in jail. This is the person that shot my son,” Moore said, explaining why he plans to be there, in Queens Supreme Court, every time Blackwell is dragged before a judge.
“And then, when he dies, I hope that he rots in hell.”
Few fathers and sons could be closer.
They took road trips to Oriole games in Baltimore. They went car shopping together, haggling for a good price on the son’s brand-new Acura TLX.
Divorced from Brian’s mother a decade ago, the dad is remarrying this month. Brian was to be his best man.
In one of their last conversations, Brian had teasingly shown his father a snazzy red-and-blue plaid silk necktie he planned to wear to the wedding.
“You can borrow it someday, but you can’t have it,” Brian had playfully taunted.
“Yeah, all right. Take a walk,” the dad had joked back.
Then came the phone call that ended everything — the jokes, the ballgames, the milestones of birthdays and christenings that now would never be.
Brian’s iPhone was in the hands of another officer, who was standing at the crime scene as Brian was rushed to the hospital.
The phone would have flashed “Dad’s Cell” on its screen as the officer reluctantly took the call.
Raymond Moore holds the tie Brian was to wear to his dad’s wedding.Photo: Paul Martinka
“Is this Mr. Moore?”
“Yeah,” the father snapped. “Where’s Brian?”
There was silence — until Moore pulled rank.
“I’m a retired sergeant. Where’s Brian?”
The officer on the other end answered, “Brian’s been shot.”
The dad persisted. “Just tell me everything you know.”
“He’s been shot,” the officer answered. “In the face.”
“And I just had this terrible feeling in my stomach,” Moore remembered.
Overwhelmed, he was picked up by an NYPD highway patrol car. While Moore was being driven through bumper-to-bumper traffic to Jamaica Hospital, the chief surgeon phoned and asked for authorization to open his son’s skull to try to save his life.
The dad would stay at his son’s side for the next day and a half, from hospital to morgue.
“I’m Catholic,” he said. “Rabbis came asking if they could say a prayer. Nurses came in, saying they’d seen miracles. I took prayers from everyone.”
The decision to take Brian off life support came Monday afternoon.
“The police surgeon didn’t suggest I be in there when they took him off the thing,” Ray said.
“But I was determined to stay with him till the end. I didn’t want to wait outside and then have them come to me and say your son’s passed away now.
“I wanted to be there to hold his hand.”
Brian died two minutes after they turned off the ventilator.
“He was strong and fought till the end,” the father said.
“He didn’t get to walk away,” he said of his son, who was in his car, his gun still holstered, when he was shot.
“He never saw it coming.”
When Moore got his son’s iPhone back, he searched through it, finding numerous exchanges between Brian and his sister, Christine, 29. They were talking about what to get for their father’s wedding.
“I opened up his phone because there are videos, pictures and stuff I wanted to see. I could see him texting my daughter, saying, ‘Christine, we’ve got to think of something for Daddy’s wedding.’ He was going back and forth with her, saying, ‘We have to get something real nice for Dad.’ It just kills me. They had their love. It was unbelievable.”
Brian Moore (from right) with sister Christine and their father, Ray Moore .
“It’s still scheduled,” Moore said of the wedding. “But this took any joy out of it right now.”
Instead, he spends his days handwriting responses to the 10 bags of condolence letters he has received. “I have no joy,” he said.
Of his son, he added: “People say he’s an American hero. And to me, I think he is. He is the epitome of a hero. He is the model cop. If you’re a kid and you want to emulate somebody, this is who you emulate.”
“And he gave the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life for all the things he believed in. He gave his life to save others.”
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