Her late husband, Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, was killed two years ago in the Bronx by a gunman. His last act was shouting “gun” and warning a fellow sergeant, saving his life from gunfire.
Last Saturday, Tuozzolo was one of three NYPD heroes, along with Detective Randolph Holder and Detective Miosotis Familia, who were honored at the 9/11 Memorial Park at North Church Queens in Murray Hill.
Each of the fallen officers are now honored with plaques featuring their photos and names.
Tuozzolo, who was with her two kids at the ceremony, said she’s humbled and touched that strangers of a community continue to honor the fallen officers.
“It’s moments like these where communities come together,” she said.
She added that the NYPD gives her courage to take care of her two sons, who bring her “such joy and happiness.”
“Sometimes it’s as simple as being a role model for my children,” Tuozzolo said. “That’s what the members of the department are able to do for me.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the three deaths are a “daily reminder” of the dangers police officers face, but also of their “supreme courage.” He said the memorial park is a place where everyone can celebrate those who gave their lives for the city.
“The hope is we’ll never have to add another plaque here,” O’Neill said, “but given the nature of what we do, that’s probably not realistic.”
Holder, a Rockaway native, was killed in October 2015 in Harlem. The fatal incident occurred when two housing officers heard gunshots and called for backup. When Holder and his partner came across the suspect, Tyrone Howard, the suspect pulled out a gun and killed him.
Familia, 48, was killed last year during an ambush. The suspect, 34-year-old John Bonds, walked up to Familia’s mobile command unit car and shot her through the window at close range. Familia and Holder’s families were also at the ceremony.
“It’s a day that brings bittersweetness to my heart, a day I will always cherish,” said Randolph Holder, Sr. “Anywhere I walk or drive, I know that the city is out there representing my son and all of the fallen officers.”