A five-year veteran of the force, Moore, a Massapequa native, was only 25 at the time of his death. While patrolling the neighborhood of Hollis as a plainclothes officer on the fateful night in question, his life was cut short after a confrontation with an armed man who fired gunshots into his patrol car. His alleged shooter, Demetrius Blackwell, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, in addition to a slew of other offenses. If convicted, he stands to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Now, one year removed from his senseless death, Moore’s mother, Irene, said that the loss of her beloved son still hasn’t sunk in, and it likely never will.
“It’s still not real…as each month goes by, you say to yourself ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,’ and it’s still not really a reality,” she said. “To think that it’s the year anniversary, but in many ways it still feels like yesterday because it’s so fresh.”
Irene said that her son had always been interested in law enforcement, and had been diligently working his way through the ranks of the department. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to an Anti-Crime Taskforce, with his sights set on one day becoming a detective.
“Brian enjoyed being a cop very much…he was the youngest one in his class in the academy. Everyone used to tease him because he had such a baby face,” she said. “He was very active in the force, and he really wanted to become a detective…he was really looking into what aspects of detective work he could do, and he would go to them all the time and ask questions about their work.”
Not wanting her son’s legacy to end with his passing, Irene set out to create a lasting, emotional presence for Brian’s memory. She and the mothers of two of Brian’s best friends established the BMoore Than You Can Be Foundation, which will fund after-school programs aimed at helping kids make the right choices in life, as well as scholarships for hard-working students in need.
“We will try to educate kids, and there are several avenues where police are already involved in schools…they try to get kids off the streets and into a team so they feel like they’re part of something, but not necessarily a sport, as not all kids are into sports,” she said. “In addition, each year we’d like to raise scholarship money so that my son’s memory can inspire somebody to do the best they can. I’m not looking for an ‘A’ student…if someone is struggling but doing the best that they can, or someone whose family doesn’t have the funds. And this is something I’d like to do for as long as I can.”
The BMoore Than You Can Be Foundation will be holding its first fundraising effort on Sunday, May 1, in the form of a walk-a-thon to be held at Belmont Racetrack in Elmont. Registration for the event is at 9 a.m., followed by the walk-a-thon itself at 10 a.m. As of press time, 250 people had already pledged support.
The route will see participants trek from Belmont Racetrack to the NYPD 105th Police Precinct in Queens Village, which is where Moore was stationed. The street sign on the corner now reads “Detective Brian Moore Way” in his honor, Irene said.
“Brian had lots of friends, and he was a really likable guy…he was a best friend to a lot of people, and when he walked into a room he lit it up, every time,” Irene said. “My daughter lost her only sibling…she lost her best friend as well as her brother. It’s heart-wrenching.”
While she said she will never be able to make sense of the horrific shooting of her son, who bravely put his life on the line to serve and protect his fellow man, Irene nonetheless said that some solace can be found in turning this loss into a way to sustain Brian’s name for all time, as well as making it a source of hope for others.
“I’ve always known I wanted to do something to make sure that this wasn’t a tragedy that ended at that point…it will live forever in my heart, but I also want to celebrate Brian’s life and help other people,” she said. “Before my son was shot, two other officers—Ramos and Liu—were killed…Brian and I talked about that a lot, and then a few months later it was him, and after that officer Holder. That’s enough. I need to do something to help other people, and in that way I feel that at least my son’s death was not in vain.”