A legacy of forgiveness: Honoring Steven McDonald 35 years after his shooting

Family members and fellow officers paid tribute to NYPD Detective Steven McDonald Monday on the 35th anniversary of his shooting.

News 12 Staff

Jul 12, 2021, 9:32 PM

Updated 1,010 days ago

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Family members and fellow officers paid tribute to NYPD Detective Steven McDonald Monday on the 35th anniversary of his shooting.
McDonald, who was from Malverne, was shot on the job and paralyzed from the neck down. He died in 2017.
His wife, Patti Ann, recalls that McDonald was investigating a string of bike thefts in Central Park when he was shot in 1986. He stopped three teenagers from stealing more bikes. One of them shot him three times. McDonald's wife - who was pregnant at the time - calls it a miracle he survived. McDonald lived for over 30 years, with the assistance of a respirator and wheelchair.
Patti Ann McDonald says the NYPD asked how she'd like to honor her husband today. She asked for a Mass.
"Being Catholic, his faith was something that sustained him and kept him going for over 30 years," she says.
A park in Malverne is named for McDonald and called the Garden of Forgiveness - something that became his legacy. After the shooting, McDonald traveled and spoke to schools, police and others about how he forgave his shooter.
"Steven shared his story of love and forgiveness because it was something he felt very strongly about," says Patti Ann McDonald.
His wife says she's grateful for the time she shared with her husband, who was able to see their son grow into a man who is now an NYPD sergeant.


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