The family of one of two NYPD officers who were fatally shot in an ambush Saturday accepted condolences from the gunman’s family on Tuesday and absolved them of blame.
“I need people to stop the crap, get it together,” Rafael Ramos’ sister, Sindy, said Tuesday at a memorial. “We’re supposed to be family. We’re not supposed to be enemies.” Ronnie Gonzalez, a cousin of Ramos, said “I hope I can meet with [the gunman’s family] in some way and grieve together.” He then added, “I’d like to meet them and say, ‘Thank you for feeling sorry for us.'”
The man who police identified as the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, fled after the shooting and turned his weapon on himself in a nearby subway station.
Ramos’ family members said they are frustrated by the divisions between the public and police but that they don’t fault Mayor Bill de Blasio for the deaths of their loved one and officer Wenjian Liu, who was shot alongside Ramos, the New York Daily News reported.
Liu’s family has also spoken out. His widow, Pei Xia Chen, called for the public to unite in the face of the tragedy: “This is a difficult time for both of our families,” she said in an emotional news conference. “But we will stand together and we will get through this together.”