A POLICE officer killed himself in New York City on Sunday — and his death is reported to be the third NYPD suicide in 2020.
Richard Catapano, a four-year veteran of the force, was found critically wounded in the Queens borough of the city just before 2am, according to the New York Post.
Catapano, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, was transported to a hospital, but died hours later, sources told the news outlet.
A friend of the cop friend told authorities that they were with Catapano and the officer’s girlfriend when the shooting took place.
The pal said Catapano and the girlfriend were fighting before his death early Sunday morning.
Catapano was an officer with the NYPD’s 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, Brooklyn, per the Post.
The police department did not immediately respond to The Sun’s request for comment.
His death reportedly marks the third suicide among the NYPD in 2020.
In 2019, 27 NYPD officers had killed themselves, according to Blue Help, a nonprofit that tracks such data.
Throughout the United States, Blue Help said 228 current or former officers had committed suicide in 2019.
Last year, the NYPD called cop suicides an “epidemic” that prompted then-Commissioner James O’Neill to remind officers that mental health help is available for those who need it.
Despite the department’s plea encouraging cops to seek help, the deaths continued.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in August 2019: “It’s extraordinarily painful.”
“We have lost officers in the past, but this concentration is devastating. We’re going to do everything conceivable to help officers and to stop this.”
O’Neill last year called the officers’ deaths a “mental health crisis.”
“Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. But before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves.
“Accepting help is never a sign of weakness — in fact, it’s a sign of great strength.”
Another cop suicide — in Chicago, Illinois — was reported in July.
The city’s police department said Deputy Chief Dion Boyd, a 57-year-old who was with the force for close to 30 years, killed himself.
Superintendent David Brown pleaded with officers to get help if they need it.
He said to “always remember to take care of ourselves and each other.”
“There is no shame in reaching out for help. Please, officers, please, stay humble, stay human, stay safe, and stay well,” Brown said.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/1242945/nypd-officer-suicide-new-york-third-2020/