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(NEWSER)– At opposite ends of Brooklyn, NYPD officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32—shot and killed on Saturday by Ismaaiyl Brinsley—are being mourned, the New York Times reports.

Neighbors describe Ramos, who joined the NYPD three years ago, as a "wonderful man" who took pride in his job but always looked forward to spending time with his two sons. Liu, a seven-year veteran of the force, would have celebrated his three-month wedding anniversary yesterday; the Times recounts a Brooklyn reception attended by 300 people. His widow is described as "in bed, inconsolable." A friend says that when Liu was in the police academy, he said, "I know that being a cop is dangerous, but I must do it. If I don't do it and you don't do it, then who is going to do it?" More:

  • Ramos' two children—a 13-year-old boy and a son who's in college—will have their education paid for by a foundation that late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner set up 32 years ago, the New York Daily News reports. The Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has funded the educations of thousands of children of NYPD, fire department, and Port Authority employees who were killed while on the job, as well as that of hundreds of children who lost a parent in the 9/11 attacks.
  • Brinsley's mother has told investigators she was afraid of her son and she hadn't seen him in a month. Police say she believes the 28-year-old, who shot himself, had undiagnosed mental problems, although they are still trying to determine whether he had a mental illness, Fox reports. Court records show that Brinsley, whose criminal history includes at least 19 arrests, dropped out of school in the 10th grade, failed to complete court-ordered drug and alcohol abuse evaluations, and had a history of making threats.

Photo: Getty Images

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