Police Officer Gabriel P. Vitale

Police Officer Gabriel P. Vitale

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, December 24, 1980

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Gabriel P. Vitale

Police Officer Gabriel Vitale succumbed to gunshot wounds received after he and his partner stopped two suspicious men while investigating a burglary near the intersection of 35th Avenue and 150th Street, in Flushing.

Officer Vitale and his partner were on foot patrol near an area where there was a call about a burglary. The officers observed two suspicious men in the area and attempted to question them. When they approached the men, the two fled in different directions. Officer Vitale subdued one at gunpoint. Becoming concerned for his partner, he holstered his weapon to use his radio. At that time the suspect drew a .45 caliber handgun and opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Vitale.

The suspect fled into his apartment where he was later shot and wounded by officers following a barricade in which he threw a grenade at officers. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 61 years to life in prison. He is eligible for parole in December 2041.

Officer Vitale had served with the New York City Police Department for 15 years and was assigned to the 109th Precinct. His wife and four children survived him.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge 17139

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, December 15, 1980
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Convicted of murder

Most Recent Reflection

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My heart is still broken even though I only knew you from a hello or two in the neighborhood where I lived that you patrolled. This happened right outside my bedroom window and its a night I'll never forget. Through the Mercy of God, may you rest in peace Officer Vitale. Thank you for your service and heroism.

Marie Moriarity

November 17, 2021

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