Nassau police mark 10 years since traffic stop killing of Officer Arthur Lopez
Sunday marked exactly 10 years since a Nassau police officer was shot and killed by a driver he pulled over on the Nassau-Queens border.
Fellow officers gathered to remember Arthur Lopez at a special dedication near the place of his murder along the Cross Island Parkway and Jamaica Avenue. Ten years later, officers said they'll never forget the sacrifice that the young officer made that day.
"Every year we come together to celebrate the life of Artie and all he meant to the people around him" said Keith Blum, of the Nassau County Police Emergency Service Unit.
It was on Oct. 23, 2012 when Lopez made the traffic stop that would be his last call. Then 33-year-old Darrell Fuller, the man Lopez pulled over, drew a gun during the traffic stop and fatally shot the officer.
Fuller was later arrested, charged and convicted of the 29-year-old officer's murder and other offences.
Fuller was given a life sentence, but in 2019 it was reported that he died in prison upstate. Officials said his death was not considered suspicious.
In addition to the small memorial near the site of Lopez's murder, the Jamaica Avenue bridge over the Cross Island Parkway is named in his memory.
Officers said 10 years later, Lopez sacrifice has never been forgotten.
"It's important that everybody knows the sacrifices that our men and women in blue make every single day and Artie is just one of the examples of them," Blum said.
Lopez's mother and sister held back tears during the remembrance ceremony. Mirella Lopez said she always thinks of her son and is supported in her grief by the love of his fellow officers in the Emergency Services Unit.
"For me, my son is still here with me," she said.