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.

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.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 26481

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender Apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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August 25, 2019 Posted by Staten Island Advance
Staten Island officer commemorated on 40th anniversary of death

Thomas Schimenti Jr., a 35-year-old Sunnyside resident and 12-year NYPD veteran, was shot to death chasing a bank robbery suspect on a crowded street in Manhattan in 1979.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- On Aug. 17, 1979, Police Officer Thomas Schimenti Jr., a 35-year-old Sunnyside resident and 12-year NYPD veteran, was pursuing a bank robbery suspect in Manhattan.

After pursuing the suspect from outside a Chemical Bank on Park Avenue near Grand Central Station, he cornered him inside a 42nd Street arcade. The suspect then spun around and suddenly fired a weapon at Schimenti.

chimenti was killed, and a detective working with him was also injured.

The South Beach native and New Dorp High School graduate’s death then-spurred a citywide campaign for bulletproof vests for every police officer, the Advance previously reported.

On Sunday, the 40th anniversary of his death, Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) and Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) joined the Schimenti family to commemorate the officer’s sacrifice, according to Cusick’s Facebook post.

“Thank you for commemorating the service of PO Thomas Schimenti and the sacrifices our brave men and women of the NYPD make every day,” Cusick said in the post.

Retired Police Officer

August 25, 2019

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