BELLEROSE TERRACE, NY (PIX11)—A decorated Nassau County cop killed in the line of duty and a Brooklyn father and churchmember have much more in common than being victims of the same gunman, as police say. They were both well-known and well loved men who were appreciated by their many friends for their gregariousness and generosity.
The day after innocent motorist Raymond Fayce and Officer Arthur Lopez were gunned down by Darrell Fuller, according to police, there were steady streams of mourners at the two men's homes, even though they are some 35 miles apart.
People who didn't even know the eight year veteran left so many flowers and mementos on the doorstep of his Beverly Road home, that they had to be taken inside and stored every few hours to allow room for more.
"I can't fathom the loss of his family and how they're dealing with this. It's terrible." said Rob Roca, a friend of Lopez, who lives three doors down from the cop. Roca told PIX11 News that when Lopez moved into his house, the young cop knocked on every door on the block and introduced himself to his new neighbors, rather than the other way around. "Artie was," Roca said, "you've got to know him. He was just a good guy."
Similar words for a man who investigators said was also killed by Fuller in a carjacking that happened minutes after Fuller gunned down Officer Lopez on Jericho Turnpike near the Cross Island Parkway and fled.
His carjacking victim, Raymond Fayce, 52, was apparently a random target whom Fuller chose in order to get away farther and faster from police, after his own car was riding on its rims following an earlier incident for which police will not offer details.
"I can't believe that this could happen to someone like him," said Fayce's next door neighbor and friend, Sarah Belches. "I can't understand that!" she exclaimed, teary eyed.
She, and many people who knew the devout churchgoer and father of four, described him as beloved by all of the many people who knew him. Fayce was particularly involved with young people in his church and neighborhood. He had a reputation for being very close to his children, and was on the phone with one of his daughters, according to investigators, when he was fatally shot in the head.
"He was crying, my grandson, 9-years-old," said Belches. "He said, 'Mommy, why would something happen like this?' [Fayce] loved all the kids in the neighborhood. He was a good person, a good hearted person."
Neighbors told PIX11 News that Facey treated everyone like family. His actual family members spent Wednesday mourning in private, after speaking of him fondly hours after he was shot dead Tuesday."
"My sister loved that man more than she loved herself," said Fayce's brother-in-law outside of the murder victim's Fountain Avenue home in Southeastern Brooklyn. He was a good man, [a] hard working, law abiding, positive man."
Darrell Fuller is expected to face a judge at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.