EASTCHESTER, N.Y. Police Chief Timothy Bonci told the Eastchester Town Board members Tuesday night that his department will spend Wednesday the same way it has spent it for the last 16 yearspaying tribute to the life and memory of fellow Police Officer Michael Frey.
Frey was a newlywed 29-year-old when he was shot and killed by a sniper on the afternoon of March 21, 1996, said Bonci, then a lieutenant on the force. Frey was on routine patrol that fateful day when he responded by himself to a call about a domestic disturbance.
Frey did not even get out of his police cruiser after arriving on the scene when he was ambushed by the lone gunman, who later kept dozens of officers at bay for hours while occasional gunshots rang out. Eventually the gunman shot his grandmother, dog and himself.
"Michael Frey was a big part of this community," Bonci said. "All of our officers, those like myself who were there at the time and those who are new, want to make sure we honor Michael Frey's life and his commitment to Eastchester."
Bonci said that after members of the police department honor Frey's memory at the police station, there will be a mass held at 7 p.m. at Immaculate Consumption Church, located on the border of Eastchester and Tuckahoe.
"The mass is always well attended," Bonci said. "We never lost an officer like this in Eastchester before or since. It is important for us to remember him for our department and for his family, who lost a son, a brother, a husband."
In addition to the mass, the police will host a spaghetti dinner Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Greek Church, near the border of Eastchester and New Rochelle.
There are still tickets available for the event, in which proceeds are donated to benefit children.
"This is one of the best parts about Eastchester," said Bonci, a lifelong resident.
"No matter what our differences, we come together for the important things and every year it is important to all of us to remember Michael Frey."
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