Oyster Bay, NY – New York Police Officer Kevin Preiss died by suicide at his home on June 26.
Officer Preiss, 53, was on the porch of his Hicksville residence when he fatally shot himself in the head at approximately 10 p.m., neighbors told the New York Daily News.
A family gathering was being held inside the home at the time.
He was just three days away from his 25th year as a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer.
“He was going to retire next year…And he was always talking about all of the things he was looking forward to doing when he retired,” a civilian NYPD employee told the New York Post. “I can’t make sense of it.”
Officer Preiss and his partner, Officer Roland Benson, made headlines in 2015 when they saved a heart attack victim at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop by performing CPR, the New York Daily News reported.
“I’ve always enjoyed the part [of the job] where you actually help someone in need,” Officer Preiss said at the time. “We do a lot of what you call lift jobs where we help old people that fall out of bed — that’s the kind of thing that I enjoy.”
In February, he and Officer Benson successfully helped a woman give birth in the hallway off her Broadway apartment building at approximately 2 a.m., The Riverdale Press reported.
“He was a hero,” one of his fellow officers told the New York Daily News. “He saved babies and everything.”
Officer Preiss spent nearly his entire career patrolling the 50th Precinct in the Bronx.
“He was a good guy. Just a really nice guy,” one of his fellow officers told the New York Post. “It’s so sad.”
Officer Preiss’ death was the fourth incidence of NYPD suicide in the month of June. A total of six NYPD officers have taken their own lives since January.
“It’s something…everyone needs to talk about,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said. “We have to be willing to talk, and more important we have to be able to listen.”
Officer Preiss leaves behind his wife, Juana, as well as his children, Veronica, Thomas, and Nicholas, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents, siblings, and many extended family members.
Officer Preiss was laid to rest on Monday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Officer Kevin Preiss, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.