Southern State Parkway section renamed for Detective Steven McDonald

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MALVERNE -

A section of the Southern State Parkway has been renamed in a tribute to Steven McDonald, the NYPD detective from Malverne who was paralyzed in a shooting in Central Park in 1986.

As News 12 has reported, the man who shot McDonald, Shavod Jones, spent nine years in prison. McDonald publicly forgave him.

Afterward, McDonald became an international advocate for peace.

"My father forgave that teen and then traveled spreading his message," said Connor McDonald, his son who is now an NYPD sergeant himself. "My father really suffered and was in tremendous pain, but he believed that was his purpose God intended."

WATCH: Extended footage of the ceremony

McDonald died at 59 years old in January 2017 from a heart attack that police say stemmed from complications from the shooting.

"Steven McDonald shared his message of forgiveness," state Sen. Todd Kaminsky said at the ceremony. "It's a message we should all live by."

Jones was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1995.

McDonald's widow, Patti Ann, says state lawmakers' bipartisan effort to honor her husband overwhelmed her.

"I just want to say how humbled and proud and overwhelmed I am by everyone that came here today," she said at the ceremony.

The Detective Steven McDonald Memorial Highway stretches from the Queens border to the Meadowbrook Parkway.

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