Staten Island, NY - NYPD Officer Yong Yun shot himself on Tuesday morning, January 17, 2017.
The 31-year-old Officer was a 10-year veteran of the NYPD. The incident occurred at a residence on Staten Island, where Officer Yun lived with his parents. NYPD Officers responded to a 911 call of a shooting at about 05:00 AM at a home on Dorval Avenue near Annadale Road. Upon arrival, they found the off-duty Officer with a gunshot wound to the neck. He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital South, and died at about 05:30 AM.
An investigation by the NYPD into why Officer Yun took his own life is ongoing. Unconfirmed sources state that he had recently been denied a transfer out of the precinct where he was currently assigned. He was not married and neighbors described him as "a good guy" who "loved being a cop," and who "loved the job". They were stunned that he would take his own life.
A police source said that Officer Yun was not under investigation by the NYPD. On January 7, 2017, Officer Yun was praised by his commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Robert Bocchino, on Twitter for apprehending a man with a gun. The Twitter post read:
“Gr8 work by #120pct PO Yun & PO Difalco braving the elements & retrieving this illegal firearm which was tossed from window" “#onelessgun.
NYPD Officer Yun worked out of Staten Island's 120th Precinct. He and his partner, NYPD Officer Daniel DiFalco, were named Cops of the Month in September, 2014, by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
Day-in and day-out police officers deal with the best and the worst of society. They deal with death, destruction, and all that is evil in this world. There are a thousand memories that I will wish I didn’t collect before I retire. This is true of most career police officers. We have seen it all, and we have done it all. Our nature leads us to be very closed about our personal lives and a silent killer is stalking police officers, whether the officers themselves realize it, or not. That killer is suicide.
No police officer ever wants to admit that a call has affected them emotionally. No police officer wants to show weakness when a child dies in their arms. No police officer wants to admit that they are having financial troubles, or that their marriage is falling apart, or that they have alienated themselves from their children because they work so many overtime hours. This lack of communication leads to walls, which leads to solitude, which leads to depression, which, when not addressed, leads to suicide. Suicide rates among police officers in this country have shown a slight decrease since 2008 but even one is too many. To lose the life of even one hero to suicide is an unacceptable loss.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the family, both blood and blue, of NYPD Officer Yong Yun.