Whether law enforcement officers are active duty or retired, they still feel a responsibility to stand up for those who require their assistance. Unfortunately, for one retired officer, standing up for someone else did not end as he would have hoped.
Standing Up For The Elderly
Around 7:15 p.m., an elderly gentleman and a 33-year-old suspect began arguing in a pizzeria. According to New York Daily News, two retired law enforcement officers were sitting outside Korner Pizza when the argument started.
Thomas Marrian, 57, and his friend, a retired corrections officer, stepped in to protect the man. However, the suspect, identified as Michael Soto, 33, started fighting with them.
A witness said Soto was a drug user and was harassing the 86-year-old man. The New York Post said the older man was retired corrections officer Robert Velasquez's, 53, father.
Witnesses also said Soto was intoxicated at the time. According to the New York Post, Soto allegedly hit the older gentleman in the face.
As they fought with Soto, Velasquez took out his gun. Denzel Smith, 69, was waiting for the bus and witnessed the incident.
“They were arguing with the younger guy in the street. The guy said, ‘I’m going to get you. I’m going to shoot you.’ The other guy said, ‘I’m a retired cop.”Denzel Smith to the New York Daily News
Soto struggled with the retired corrections officer for the gun, and it went off.
Retired Officer Down
Soto was shot in the arm, and Marrinan was shot in the chest. Witness Sam Saied said, " He falls down on the floor, and his wife came running."
She kept saying his name over and over again.
“The police were pumping Thomas, saying, ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ He wasn’t responding. The other guy was sitting there handcuffed. The crackhead was shot in the arm, and the cops dragged him to an ambulance.”Witness Regina Uddin
Marrinan and Soto were both taken to Maimonides Hospital, and Marrinan died of his injuries. Soto is being charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted assault, and criminally negligent homicide.
Marrinan's nephew, NYPD officer Nick White said, “It’s a great weight off our shoulders to know he’s not out there and he can’t do anything like this again to vulnerable people in the community.”
Marrinan was a loved officer who always did the right thing for his community, which he demonstrated in his last moments.