Police Officer Thomas P. Ruotolo

Police Officer Thomas P. Ruotolo

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, February 14, 1984

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Thomas P. Ruotolo

Officer Thomas Ruotolo was shot and killed after he and his partner stopped a suspect with a stolen moped.

Officer Ruotolo and his partner were on patrol when they heard a report of a stolen moped over their radio. When they stopped at the corner of 149th Street and Bruckner Avenue in the Bronx, they observed the suspect filling the moped with gas at the corner gas station.

Officer Ruotolo pulled his patrol car up behind the suspect, and he and his partner exited. As they approached, before they said a word to the suspect, the suspect drew a snub-nosed revolver and opened fire. Officer Ruotolo was struck in the head and killed. His partner returned fire but was shot and wounded. An off-duty officer using the pay phone at the gas station witnessed the incident and opened fire on the suspect, but he was also shot and wounded.

Officer Ruotolo was pronounced dead at the scene. His partner and the off-duty officer were removed to a local hospital and later recovered from their wounds.

The suspect fled but was later apprehended at a local hospital when he showed up seeking treatment for four gunshot wounds. The suspect, a career-violent criminal who was on parole for manslaughter and robbery, pled guilty to one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of first-degree attempted murder. He was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. He was denied parole in September 2023.

Officer Ruotolo had served with the New York City Police Department for three years and was assigned to the 41st Precinct. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 14130

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Sentenced to 40 years to life

convicted felon, parolee, stolen vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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I was 17 years old when you gave your life to your community for others to live. Over the years I would think of you from time to time because I felt a special bond with you in that we share the same last name. All though we never met, I always felt in my heart you were my older brother. Continue to rest in peace, my brother and I hope your entire family are doing well, they all deserve it. Good Bless you!!!


March 6, 2024

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