Detective Rafferty and Detective Robert Parker were shot and killed when they attempted to arrest a suspect on a domestic violence complaint.
The two detectives had been working on a case involving the suspect. They received a call from the suspect's mother who told them the man had returned home and was attempting to take her car.
Detective Rafferty and Detective Parker responded to the location on East 49th Street, between Snyder Avenue and Tilden Avenue in Brooklyn. The detectives intentionally drove the wrong way down East 49th Street and boxed in the auto that the suspect was in. When the detectives moved in to make the arrest a violent struggle ensued and the suspect was able to gain control of Detective Parker's 9mm service weapon. The suspect then opened fire, striking both detectives in the chest. Detective Rafferty was able to return fire, wounding the suspect in the leg.
Before he died, Detective Parker was able to call 911 from his cell phone and identify his killer to the operator. He was also able tell the first responding officers the identity of the suspect and direct them to a photo of him that was in his police vehicle.
The suspect fled the location after car jacking a woman. He was apprehended less than two hours later, several blocks away from the location where he murdered Detective Parker and Detective Rafferty, after a citizen called 911 to report a suspicious man in his building.
Detective Rafferty and Detective Parker were taken to Kings County Hospital where they died from their wounds.
The suspect was charged with first degree murder and later convicted after a trial in which he claimed that he shot Detective Rafferty and Detective Parker in self defense. He was sentenced to two life terms in prison with no possibility of parole.
Detective Rafferty was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Departments Medal of Honor for his actions.
Detective Rafferty had served with the New York City Police Department for 15 years, and was assigned to the 67th Precinct Detective Squad. He is survived by his wife and three children.