Photos by Jefferson Siegel
At last Thursday’s memorial ceremony, from left: Iola Latman, mother of Auxiliary Officer Nicholas Pekearo; Boris and Maya Marshalik, parents of Auxiliary Officer Eugene Marshalik; and Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, Sixth Precinct commanding officer.
BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL | Marking the sixth anniversary of the killing of two heroic Sixth Precinct auxiliary officers in the line of duty, police and auxiliary officers, family members and community members gathered at the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan Sts. for a brief memorial last Thursday evening.
On the evening of March 14, 2007, disgruntled filmmaker David Garvin walked into DeMarco’s Italian restaurant at West Houston and MacDougal Sts. and, after asking for a menu, fired 15 shots into restaurant employee Alfredo Morales’s back.
Two Sixth Precinct auxiliary police officers, Nicholas Pekearo, 28 and Eugene Marshalik, 19, were on patrol and heard news of the shooting on their radio. The unarmed auxiliaries spotted Garvin approaching on Bleecker St. and ordered him to drop his backpack. At first Garvin complied but then punched Pekearo in the face and proceeded to run up Sullivan St. It was later revealed that the backpack held a second gun and 100 bullets.
Auxiliary officers salute their fallen comrades.
Flowers were left on two lampposts at Bleecker and Sullivan Sts. bearing honorary street signs for the officers.
The young officers followed Garvin at a distance. Suddenly, Garvin turned and fired a half-dozen times at Pekearo. He then turned his weapon on Marshalik, killing him with one bullet to the back of the head.
Police flooded the area. After exchanging fire with pursuing officers, Garvin ducked into a leather-goods store, the Village Tannery, where he likely reloaded. Upon emerging, he was ordered to drop his weapon before officers ended his rampage in a hail of gunfire.
Marshalik was a student in N.Y.U.’s College of Arts and Science, working toward a degree in politics and economics. Pekearo, who grew up in the Village, was a writer and had just completed a fantasy novel about werewolves.
Two street signs bearing the heroes’ names now hang on the northeast and southwest corners of Sullivan and Bleecker Sts.
Attending last Thursday’s ceremony were Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, the Sixth Precinct’s commanding officer; Deputy Inspector Phylis Byrne of the auxiliary police; and former state Senator Tom Duane.
Speaking afterward, the two mothers expressed their gratitude for the memorial event.
“I am very grateful to the people who remember my son,” said Maya Marshalik.
Said Iola Latman, mother of Pekearo, “It’s wonderful that the neighborhood, the community and the police are honoring them both. The ceremony was very nice.”