The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will assume all remaining payments on the homes of fallen NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, both fatally gunned down in a pre-meditated shooting while in their patrol car on Saturday, December 20.
Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation—an organization established to honor first responders after the events of 9/11, announced on Tuesday, December 23 alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo, that the foundation will be “immediately” assuming the payments and that it would undoubtedly be “keeping with the mission” of the foundation.
“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 Siller. “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.”
Both officers had ties to Southwest Brooklyn—Liu from Bensonhurst and Ramos’ son enrolled in school in Sunset Park. Assigned to the 84th Precinct, Ramos and Liu were stationed within the confines of the 79th Precinct on Tompkins Avenue at the time of the shooting.
According to police reports, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley from Baltimore, took a shooting stance on the passenger side of the vehicle and fired his weapon several times through the front passenger window, striking both officers in the head—Ramos in the driver seat, and Liu in the front passenger seat. Brinsley then fled to a nearby subway station where he took his own life on the platform with the same weapon used on the officers.
“In times of need and pain, the family of New York always comes together to support each other,” said Cuomo. “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. 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.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation will be holding a press conference on Friday, December 26 to provide more details. For more information about the Foundation, please go to www.tunnel2towers.org. The website is accepting donations directed solely to the homes and families of Officers Liu and Ramos.