Steven McDonald, a New York City Police officer, who was shot and paralyzed from the neck down thirty-years ago by a 15-year-old boy in Central Park, died on Tuesday in Manhasset, N.Y. He was 59.
Detective McDonald was hospitalized four days earlier after suffering a heart attack in his home in the village of Malverne in Nassau County, New York. McDonald’s death was caused by complications from the July 12, 1986 shooting, which left him a quadriplegic. McDonald’s death, at North Shore University Hospital, was announced by Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.
McDonald remained in the public’s eye for many years after his tragic injury and he later forgave his assailant: McDonald hoped for the youth’s redemption. McDonald’s assailant was arrested, and as a juvenile offender, convicted of attempted murder of a police officer. McDonald’s assailant served eight and half years in prison before his parole in 1995: he faced ten years under guidelines for sentencing juvenile offenders. Four days after his parole, the assailant died of head injuries he sustained the previous day in a speeding motorcycle crash.
McDonald is survived by his wife Patricia, his only son Conor, who is currently a New York City police sergeant, and his father, a retired New York City police sergeant.
On Friday, January 13, 2017, a funeral mass was held for Office Steven McDonald at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan the main celebrant.
Please follow this link to images of those who came to pay their respect outside the cathedral.