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Paralyzed NYPD hero Steven McDonald dies at 59

Disabled New York City police officer Steven McDonald, assisted by his wife Patti Ann and son Connor as he speaks during the second night of the 2004 Republican National Convention in Madison Square Garden in New York City, August 31, 2004.

(REUTERS/Gary Hershorn US ELECTION JM – RTR9OR2)

Hero NYPD agent Steven McDonald — who famously forgave the cowardly teen gunman who left him paralyzed from the neck down 30 years ago died Tuesday at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island. He was 59.

McDonald was on a life support since mucus clogged his mask, sending him into a cardiac arrest, on Friday.

Relatives and colleagues of the police, including former nypd commissioner Ray Kelly, was keeping vigil at his side.

“Steven was an extraordinary man, who should not be defined by the shooting that paralyzed him, but by what he achieved in life after it happened,” said Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD detectives union.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association chief Pat Lynch called McDonald ” the most courageous and forgiving man I have ever known.”

“Despite the enormous pain in his life, both physically and spiritually, his concern for his fellow police officers and for the people of New York City never wavered,” Lynch said.

“He is a force for all that is good and is an inspiration for all of us…..He was a true American hero.”

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