Hero Dies From Wounds 33 Years After Crime

The gallant NYPD officer Troy Patterson, who lived over half his life in a coma after being wounded during an attempted burglary in Brooklyn, has died at a New Jersey recovery facility. 

Patterson, who was not on duty, was cleaning his vehicle next to a fire hydrant when three males approached him and demanded twenty dollars. After a fight, one of the teens shot Patterson in the head. He was only 15 at the time.

The 27-year-old Patterson went unconscious and never woke up.

Friends and relatives of the wounded Officer Patterson were under the impression that he recognized their presence despite his persistent vegetative condition. 

In a report from years ago, his son Troy, who was only years at the time, recounted how his father would become silent and listen when they visited. 

Patterson’s loved ones and friends thought they sometimes saw a glimpse of the man struggling to reemerge.

Katherine Patterson, Patterson’s mother, took care of him every day until her MS made her too weak to do so.  Even though her son couldn’t speak back to her, she was sure he could still hear her. 

Darren Crawford (17), Tracy Clark (15) Vincent Robbins (20), were the three suspects detained after the crime occurred; they had assaulted the officer and wanted $20 to join a local basketball league. 

Clark, a pupil at Automotive High School in Brooklyn at the time, was named the alleged shooter and suspected of using a.38-caliber pistol.  He and two other individuals were convicted and sentenced to jail time. The three were freed a short time afterward.

Clark, presumed to have relocated to South Carolina, was incarcerated for 15 years due to his drug dealing activities. 

More than 30 years after the shooting, the NYPD held an annual vigil in Patterson’s honor, and last year, at the vigil, NYPD Assistant Chief Judith Harrison revealed that she was still praying for a miracle.