A New York City Police Department detective who spent more than three decades in a coma after being shot during a 1990 robbery is dead.
The Detectives’ Endowment Association announced the death of Detective Troy Patterson in a Twitter post on Sunday, remembering him as a “hero of New York City, who inspired hundreds of fellow Detectives to continue his courageous, important crime-fighting work.”
It is with a heavy heart that the Detectives’ Endowment Association announces the passing of Detective Troy Patterson. Troy was shot and severely injured in 1990 as he took police action when three criminals attempted to rob him while he was off-duty. The DEA will #NeverForget.… pic.twitter.com/AWR2HSxT2V— Detectives' Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) April 30, 2023
According to the Associated Press, Patterson went into “a vegetative state” on Jan. 16, 1990, after being shot in the head while washing his car when three individuals approached him in search of $20.
The shooter, identified as then-15-year-old Tracy Clark, was accompanied by then-17-year-old Darren Crawford and then-20-year-old Vincent Robbins in the ambush as they were in need of money to play in a local basketball tournament, according to ABC7.
According to NBC New York, all three “served time for various convictions and have since been released,” but Patterson, who was 27 years old at the time of the shooting, never regained consciousness.
His son, Troy Patterson, Jr., who was only 5 years old when the incident occurred, shared with ABC7 that while his dad had a limited ability to communicate, he was “able to react to his family’s voices and sometimes he smiled, chuckled, or even laughed.”
“That was tough, you know, 5 years old, a little kid, a baby,” he recalled. “You know seeing your dad laid up in the hospital, tubes, stomach, nose, you know everywhere, mouth. It was tough but with the family there guiding him and the NYPD, we got through it,” the younger Patterson said.
The NYPD honored Patterson on Monday by lining up outside of his funeral home for a dignified transfer.
Today, officers lined up outside of a funeral home for a dignified transfer in honor of Detective Troy Patterson, who sustained catastrophic injuries 33 years ago after being shot. We will continue to honor his legacy and vow never to forget our fallen hero. pic.twitter.com/aVNiMr9go6— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 1, 2023
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Detective Troy Patterson, who was shot 33 years ago and succumbed to his injuries Saturday, April 29th. We will never forget his memory, or his dedication to making our city a safer place for all. #FidelisAdMortem,” the NYPD said through a statement on Twitter.
“Whether it was 3 months or over 30 years ago, the NYPD never forgets. It is the pledge that we make to every member when they walk through the doors of our academy. It is our vow to lend our unwavering support to their families & honor legacies like that of Det. Troy Patterson,” shared Keechant Sewell, Police Commissioner of the City of New York, in a statement on Twitter following the event.