Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Thomas Schimenti, Jr.

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, August 17, 1979

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Reflections for Police Officer Thomas Schimenti, Jr.

Remembering hero cop Thomas Schimenti, 41 years after he died in line of duty

Posted on August 17, 2020
SI Live News

Police Officer Thomas Schimenti Jr. was a Sunnyside resident who served the NYPD for 12 years.

Monday marks 41 years since he died in the line of duty at the hands of a bank robbery suspect in Manhattan.

On Aug. 17, 1979, the 35-year-old cop was pursuing the suspect from outside a Chemical Bank on Park Avenue near Grand Central Station. Schimenti cornered him inside an arcade on 42nd Street.

As Schimenti attempted to arrest the suspect, the suspect turned around suddenly and fired, fatally wounding Schimenti and injuring a detective who was with him.

The South Beach native and New Dorp High School graduate’s death created a push for bulletproof vests for every police officer city-wide.

He was one of 1,000 police officers chosen in a lottery for the vests but had not received it yet when he was gunned down.

At the time of his death, Schimenti was living with his wife, Diane, and two daughters, then 9 and 10.

On Monday, the NYPD Chaplains Unit commemorated the officer’s sacrifice in a Twitter post.

The post reads: “We will #neverforget @NYPDMTS Police Officer Thomas Schimenti Jr. who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1979. May he rest in eternal peace.”

In 2009, a memorial plaque was placed below the flagpole at the corner of Richmond and Todt HIll roads in Grant City in Schimenti’s honor.

Then-Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly stood in solidarity with Schimenti’s family to honor the NYPD hero.

“We are all here to pay tribute to a true New York City hero and indeed an American hero,” said Kelly. “One thing is still true today as it was then. The essence of the strength of this department lies in the dedication of its police officers.”

Retired Police Officer

August 17, 2020

Rest in peace always knowing that your memory, service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 17, 2020

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

Rest In Eternal Peace Tom. We had good times together working in MTS Pct. Missed seeing you at the VZ bridge underpass when picking up your check or when you picked up my pay check

Ret. PO Ernest Dove

August 20, 2019

You were my cousin, you baptized me on this very day 50 years ago and you were my godfather.

For fourty years you have been missed. Because of your sacrifice I didn't want to become a police officer. I thought we gave enough when you gave your life.

Now, I wear a Federal Police badge as an officer at the Smithsonian Institution. Who knew that I would have followed in your footsteps so many years later.

I miss you dearly cuz. Life hasn't been the same without you. We've lost so many others in our family over the years but your loss was one of the most painful.

Cousin Tommy. You were a wonderful man, a devoted father and husband. You and my mom grew up together like siblings and shared the good and bad times together. She loved you dearly.

You shared time with me when my dad was working, I remember those times vividly, and you loved us all so much that it hurt us all to loose you.

My cousin, my godfather, my hero.

I miss you dearly and will never forget the man you were or the man you inspired me to become.

Your cousin/godson,

Officer Steven Buccellato
Smithsonian institution Special Police

August 17, 2019

Officer Schimenti,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

August 17, 2019

Tommy~~It's almost 40 years since you were called to your reward. It was a pleasure to have known you in the 6th Pct. We shared a few laughs. You are not forgotten , my friend.

NYPD 6th pct retired.

April 25, 2019

I am in NYC for a month-long visit to my daughter who works at 100 Park. Last Monday, I waited for her outside the building and saw the plaque. When we got home, I read about Officer Thomas and couldn’t help but cry. It truly amazes me how the NYPD work to keep people safe. May Thomas rest in peace.

Maria Soledad

October 24, 2018

I Remember a nice guy who wore a blue uniform.
I was 21 when i worked in a sandwich shop on 40th st between Madison and Park
Tom would come in often, Tommy i would yell across the counter, always getting dirty
looks from the established older German women that worked there with me. He'd laugh
knowing i was doing this to annoy them. He would always speak of his family . I remember
once i asked how was your week end,he said he had a barbecue in Staten island. Tom was always upbeat, cheerful what i felt mostly is why is he talking to me, I felt pretty good that a cop would go out of his way to talk to me. I left the sandwich shop and shortly after became a Police Officer now retired I will always cherish our friendship. Officer Schimenti was a great person friendly easy to talk to. I always looked forward to seeing him when he stopped buy . I miss you tommy your passing was so hard to take God keep you in his Glory

Retired Sergeant Roy Conde

April 11, 2018

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

April 3, 2018

God bless you Brother, you will never be forgotten. Rest peacefully.

RET P.O David.Biondi

September 17, 2017

Rest easy my brother. You will always be remembered by so many people whom you have touched. May you continue to watch over your loving family, friends, and the entire N.Y.P.D. Until we meet.

Lieutenant Ray Flores
N.Y.P.D. (retired)

August 17, 2017

It has been 37 years since you went on Eternal Patrol with our other fallen brothers. You are not forgotten Tom.

Retired PO Dennis Conner
NYPD 6th Pct

December 10, 2016

As I read through these reflections of my brother-in-law, I am so pleased that people are still thinking about Tom. He truly was an angel on earth. So hard to believe that all of these years have are always in my prayers and in my heart....until we meet again.


February 13, 2016

It was my honor to research newspapers, magazines, online & books to find your ID CARD Photo. I found this photo in a 1979 New Yorker Magazine Article about your heroic sacrifice. I felt it was necessary to have a photo on this website so that your family & friends can remember you. Rest Easy Hero! Always Remembered!

APO Christian Durante
NYPD: 68th Precinct Auxiliary Police Unit

February 5, 2016

I just visited the site of his death today, New Year's Day 2016. I was taken there by a friend, a former NYPD detective who knew him and told me the story about how he was shot dead on his new beat in Grand Central. He then told me about the old plaque replaced by the new one and the presentation ceremony in the lobby of the building-100 Park Ave- where we went today to pay our respects. It was very moving.
Considering the current war on police, I wonder if the public appreciates what policemen & women do everyday. Patrolman Schimenti went to work that day, and he never came home.
The plaque says: 'He gave his life for his fellow man.' May he rest in peace.

A New Yorker and fellow citizen
daughter of a policemen

January 1, 2016

On holiday with my wife and two children we heard of his being shot.We heard the shop named Kitty Kellys mentioned.My brother in law said it was a black man! My memory says the killer was named Donaghue.I was so touched by Tommy"s death that i remember each year how men and women like him made it safer to visit New York. May his family know that we remember him.May he rest in peace. Joe Nevin and Care

Retired Production Controller M I P CAff
Deeply touched by his death

July 19, 2015

I worked with Tommy in MTS. I responded to the 10-13 that day when he was on post 12 on 42nd st. when we arrived at the scene, people were directing us to 43rd and Vanderbilt where the perpetrator was hiding under a parked car, we dragged him out, where he was laying on his pistol used to kill Tommy and shoot a detective from the Manhattan DA's office who was passing by and scene what was happening. The perp was wanted for another homicide in Newark NJ, he escaped Rikers Island, and was found washed ashore the following Spring, in Brooklyn. Tommy, may he RIP was the true definition of a dedicated Police Officer and a wonderful dad to his children. I think about him many times since that dreadful day in August.

PO Howard Rosenfeld

June 17, 2015

I will always Pray And Think Of You My Brother We Have The Same Numerical Badge# RIP and May His Family Find Peace----Amen

PO Felipe Jerome

February 10, 2015

Two members of the NYPD were assassinated a few days ago, and as I reflect on this with great sadness, I'm reminded of my boyfriend Cy Galletta's stories of his partner Tom Schimenti. Cy passed away a few years ago. He spoke of Tom often, the passing years did not diminish the pain he felt at the loss of his friend. At this devastating time for the NYPD, as two more names have been added to this website, I think of Cy and Tom also.

Kate Hurley

December 21, 2014

Although I never personally met Tom, I feel as if I know him. He was a fellow LEO and a member of the MTS Precinct. I started my NYPD career there in 1981. Tom was already gone, but never forgotten. I can still see the flowers in the precinct stationhouse that were placed at his memorial every year on the anniversary of his death. Members of the command that knew Tom, spoke fondly about our fallen brother. He is truly one of New York's Finest and will always live on in our hearts and minds. His daughter Gina's remarks above brought a tears to my eyes. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by way too many fallen brothers and sisters. Rest in peace Tom.

Retired Lt. Dennis Cirillo

April 4, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 31rst anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer. Like you, he was fatally shot during a foot pursuit of bank robbers.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

August 17, 2010

My husband, Ron Beck, (now deceased) and I worked with Tom in Communications. A kinder, gentler PO could not be found. I say a little prayer for him whenever I pass the spot where I heard the awful news.

Mary Colway Beck

February 9, 2010

I said a little prayer today for Police Officer Schimenti and his family. He may be gone but never forgotten. He will always be a New York HERO.

Robyn Wilkes

August 10, 2009



July 12, 2008

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