A foundation established in the memory of a fallen 9/11 first responder will assume the mortgage payments of two officers who were assassinated in a brazen killing in New York City this weekend.
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot at point-blank range while sitting in their police cars in a Brooklyn neighborhood Saturday. The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, fled the scene and later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation made the announcement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.
“When my brother Stephen died on 9/11 along with 342 other firefighters, our family decided that the best way to honor his memory was by supporting first responders,” said Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation. “This — and the fact that for the last several years, Tunnel to Towers has been building ‘smart homes’ for those catastrophically injured in war — makes it fitting that in recognition of the sacrifice of these fallen officers, we ensure that their family homes are financially secure.”
The move is the latest effort to assist the families of the fallen officers.
In a statement Monday, Bowdoin College in Maine announced that it would offer full financial aid to Justin Ramos, the son of one of the officers, who is a member of Bowdoin’s class of 2017.
“This is in keeping with Bowdoin’s practice of meeting the full financial need of each of our students for all four years,” the school said. “We are grateful for the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation’s offer to assist, but Bowdoin has it covered.”
The college also established a fund to collect donations that will be sent directly to the Ramos family, in response to requests by students and alumni eager to help.
In the hours after his father’s death, Ramos’s 13-year old son Jaden Ramos mourned his father on social media.
“In times of need and pain, the family of New York always comes together to support each other and following this senseless murder of two of New York’s finest it is heartwarming and commendable for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to step in with such generosity,” Cuomo added in a statement. “In the darkest of times, the strength and spirit of community of New Yorkers shines the brightest. During this Holiday season, this act of generosity will ensure both the Ramos and Liu families no longer have to worry about how to cover the mortgage payments on their homes.”
“By coming together, we help honor the memory of these fallen heroes,” he added.