Pair of cop suicides leaves fellow NYPD officers shaken
A veteran NYPD homicide detective was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday — one day after a police chief fatally shot himself, sources said.
Detective Joe Calabrese, 58, was discovered near bushes at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn following a desperate search after he went missing in the morning, police sources said.
“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, where Calabrese was a longtime board member and trustee.
“Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.”
Calabrese, who was assigned to the Brooklyn South homicide squad, joined the NYPD in 1982. His son is on the force, sources said.
He was last heard from at around 2 a.m. Thusrday when he left Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, where his wife had undergone a minor procedure, a high-ranking police source said.
At around 3 a.m., Calabrese’s black Cadillac sedan was found by another detective near Plumb Beach just off the Belt Parkway and about five minutes from his home, sources said.
The NYPD launched a massive manhunt for the missing cop, with at least 100 uniformed and plainclothes officers scouring the area near Sheepshead Bay, where Calabrese’s car was parked — making the grim discovery in the afternoon.
“They were looking by the water . . . Then they saw the body up by a tree,” a source said. “He shot himself.”
Two men could be seen collapsing in the arms of detectives on the beach.
Fellow officers were shattered by the death.
“I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why he would do this,” said one cop who knew Calabrese.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins, who once worked with Calabrese in the 67th Precinct, called him a “great guy” and “great detective.”
“This is a total shock,” Mullins said. “The NYPD and the city of New York lost a great detective.”
Calabrese’s death comes just a day after Steven Silks, the deputy chief of Queens North, fatally shot himself in the head in an unmarked patrol car.
Silks, 62, had been weeks away from his scheduled mandatory retirement.
Hours before Calabrese’s body was found, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill honored Silks and urged fellow cops who were struggling to seek help.
“Steve truly was one of the most capable and most dependable cops this job has ever seen,” O’Neill said at a safety briefing.
“The cops here today, I need you to know help is available to you. Help is here. You are never alone.”
Additional reporting by Joe Marino and Tamar Lapin
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