US NY: Vigil In Memory Of Man Killed By Police URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02.n953.a05.html Newshawk: Alex Pubdate: Mon, 20 May 2002 Source: Newsday (NY) Copyright: 2002 Newsday Inc. Contact: [email protected] Website: http://www.newsday.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/308 Author: Erik Holm Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/raids.htm (Drug Raids) VIGIL IN MEMORY OF MAN KILLED BY POLICE Bullets fired by police killed Jose Colon during a botched drug raid one month ago, but yesterday, his father said the gun might as well have been aimed at his entire family. "They shot me down," Juan Colon said. "They shot my whole family down that night." That was why, Colon said, he and other relatives organized a vigil yesterday in front of the now-abandoned house where Colon was shot on April 19. "I don't want anyone to forget about what has happened to us," he said. The front step of the house, where Colon died, was covered with candles and flowers, and about 40 friends and relatives prayed for the 20-year-old junior college student from Bellport who they said had the promise of a better life ahead. And, they said, they came to remind politicians and police of the shooting. "We are here to suggest to our police that we expect better from them," said the Rev. Allan Ramirez, pastor of the Brookville Reformed Church, who has helped the Colon family since the shooting. "We raise our voices with respect to say that we are all children of God." Suffolk police say an officer accidentally shot Colon, 20, as he was leaving a suspected drug house in Bellport. The officer leading the raid was bumped from behind by another officer, police said, and the submachine gun he was holding fired three shots by accident. But witnesses tell a different story. Colon's girlfriend and a neighbor said that police were stopped on the lawn when the fatal shots were fired, and that none of the officers bumped the police officer who fired the fatal shot. Colon had told his girlfriend that he needed to return $20 to someone in the house, and police say Colon was not armed and did not have any drugs when he was shot. Four others were arrested on drug and weapons possession charges. The officer who fired at Colon, Tony Gonzalez, has been placed on desk duty pending an investigation of the shooting, and Suffolk Homicide Commander Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick has said that Gonzalez, a 14-year veteran, was distraught over Colon's death. Yesterday, Colon's parents and siblings wore ribbons and pins with Colon's photo on them. It was not the first time any of them had been to the site. Colon's brother, David Colon, 17, and sister, Maria Colon, 16, each said they had made the trip several times before. "It's hard sometimes," Maria Colon said through tears. "But I want people to remember."