Steven McDonald, NYPD cop paralyzed three decades ago in Central Park shooting, dead at 59

The New York City police officer who paralyzed after being left for dead by a teen gunman 31 years ago died Tuesday at the age of 59. He paralyzed from the neck in the shooting and died at about 1 p.m. ET at North Shore University Hospital, the police agency gives information. He was hailed for extending forgiveness to the teen who gunned him down in Central Park in 1986. He spent his years after the shooting spreading a message of forgiveness and peace to school children, churches, police officers, and other groups.

The cause was a heart attack. He’d been on life support after mucus-clogged his respirator, which sent him into cardiac arrest on Friday.

“New York City is heartbroken by the loss of NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who for 30 years has been this city’s greatest example of heroism and grace,” Mayor de Blasio said.