Police Officer Thomas Schimenti, Jr.

Police Officer Thomas Schimenti, Jr.

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, August 17, 1979

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Thomas Schimenti, Jr.

Police Officer Thomas Schimenti was shot and killed following a foot chase with a bank robbery suspect.

Officer Schimenti was walking his beat when he was flagged down by a woman who told him that a man in a gorilla mask was robbing a bank at 100 Park Avenue. As Officer Schimenti turned toward the bank, he observed the suspect exit and begin to flee north on Park Avenue on foot. Officer Schimenti began to chase the suspect and radioed for assistance. As Officer Schimenti was chasing the suspect, two detectives who were in the area observed the chase and joined in.

They chased the suspect to the front of Grand Central Terminal, where the suspect turned and opened fire. Officer Schimenti was struck and killed, and one of the detectives was wounded. The suspect was wounded once and fled. He was apprehended by the second detective, who found him hiding under a car one block away.

On March 3, 1980, the suspect, 37, escaped with three other inmates from Rikers Island Prison, where he was being held for Officer Schimenti's murder. They stole a corrections officer's car that was found abandoned near Kennedy Airport the next day. Three were captured. Officer Schimenti's killer remains at large.

Officer Schimenti had served with the New York City Police Department for 12 years and was assigned to the Midtown South Precinct. He was survived by his wife and two children.

On August 17th, 1988, a popular street corner on Staten Island was renamed in Officer Schimenti's honor.

Bio

  • Age 36
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 26481

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender At large

bank robbery, foot pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

View all 38 Reflections

I still think about officer Schimenti every day, I owe him my life,..thank you for saving my life. on that day i was walking out of grand central to lunch. across the street i saw a group of undercover police officers chasing bank robber. I thought they were construction workers chasing a purse snatcher since he was carrying a large green bag. as the bank robber ran towards me i thought i should join the chase. just then the two police officers stepped in front of me and opened the door to grand central. then i saw the muzzle flash a few feet to my right. if they had not stepped in front of me i would have been the one opening that door. I think about officer Schimenti often and am eternally grateful.

Lawrence Berman
bystander

December 15, 2022

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