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Death of two Moores

by RALPH BARTHOLDT
Staff Writer | May 5, 2020 1:15 AM

Policemen from different sides of country were shot and killed

They were brothers in blue, although they lived worlds apart.

Their deaths came within hours of each other.

When Sgt. Greg Moore of the Coeur d’Alene police died five years ago, law and fire officers, family members and people from around the Northwest and elsewhere had to catch their breath. Then they mourned.

Far to the east, 2,500 miles and almost 40 hours by car from Coeur d’Alene, the officers of the 105th Precinct, NYPD in Queens, New York had also been mourning for their officer, a 25-year-old named Brian Moore who was shot and died a day earlier than Greg.

The men shared the same name and occupation, but they weren’t related.

Greg Moore was on patrol in a residential neighborhood south of Prairie Avenue and near Atlas Road when he was shot in the head in the early morning hours of May 5 by Jonathan Renfro, who wielded a stolen firearm. Renfro is serving a life prison sentence.

Brian Moore was in plain clothes as part of an anti-crime unit patrolling in the afternoon when he was shot in the head by a fugitive. The first round hit the car’s door handle and fragmented, sending shrapnel into Brian Moore’s cheek. The second round was to the officer’s temple, Brian’s father, Ray, said in a phone interview with The Press. Brian Moore died May 4, 2015.

“It’s like it happened yesterday,” said Ray Moore, a retired NYPD sergeant. “It’s tough. It never ends.”

Demetrius Blackwell, who shot Brian Moore with a .38 cal. revolver, is also serving a life sentence.

The fifth anniversary of the death of both Moores comes at a time when public gatherings are either prohibited — as they are in New York City — or cautioned against because of coronavirus fears.

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said his police officers and Moore family members will have a private remembrance.

“Our department has healed well since Greg’s death, but it took some time because of the significant impact his life and death had on our department,” White said.

The Lake City High School auditorium was filled to capacity and people were waiting outside to pay homage at Greg Moore’s 2015 memorial service.

More than 30,000 people turned out for Brian Moore’s funeral in Queens.

Both men have memorials in their honor, to recognize their service. They are quiet places set aside for family, friends and visitors to reflect on lives that prematurely ended.

“When the tragic loss of Sgt. Moore happened, our entire community came together to support (his) family and to honor him,” Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer said. “Five years later our community stands in support of our law enforcement... We will always honor Sgt. Moore for the ultimate sacrifice he made and we keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Earlier this week in Queens, a procession of 25 motorcycles from the Vigilance Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club stopped in front of Ray Moore’s home as a tribute to his fallen son.

“That was very nice,”Ray Moore said. “I thought that was a great thing today.”

It’s important for both men to be remembered, Ray Moore said.

“To realize what they sacrificed,” he said. “I think that’s great.”

SIDEBAR:

Golub’s art is dedicated to others

Hayden resident Alan Golub had his own near death experience less than a decade ago.

His art is a product of the near fatal stroke he suffered and the first-responders, medics and hospital staff who saved his life.

“I had to learn to walk again,” said Golub a former manufacturer whose Hayden-based company made computer parts.

As a hand-eye exercise while he was in the hospital, Golub learned to produce art on his cell phone.

“I produce all my art on my phone,” he said.

Over the past several years, his work has been dedicated to honor police, fire and first responders.

When Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore was shot and killed five years ago by a petty criminal with a rap sheet, Golub didn’t have to think about his role in helping the community.

He made a Sgt. Greg Moore poster that has become synonymous with the recognition of Moore and fellow officers and firefighters who are slain in the line of duty.

The posters were displayed in Coeur d’Alene storefronts, businesses and agencies in commemoration.

When Golub heard about another Moore, a New York police detective named Brian who was killed at 25 years old after being shot in the head by a convicted felon in Queens, Golub again got on his phone.

The two deaths were tragically coincidental. The men shared the same surname and occupation, and died within a day of each other in different parts of the country.

“I created posters to honor both of them,” Golub said.

Golub was in New York for a birthday in the middle of a New York City winter when he stopped by the 105th police precinct in Queens to donate the poster. He visited with Brian Moore’s dad, Ray, and left feeling as if he’d done a small something to honor the families and officers on both sides of the country.

“They are like a band of brothers across the nation, and the world,” he said. “There is a real kinship, a fraternity in losing a loved one.”

Since then he has sent posters to departments from law enforcement to fire departments from California to New York, and places in between such as the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota where an officer was slain.

“It’s an honor for me to do that,” Golub said.

He has become known as the Normal Rockwell of commemorative art.

His work is dedicated to others.

“When you have a near death experience,” Golub said, “it changes your perspective.”

photo

Alan Golub of Hayden in this digital menagerie poses with chiefs of police in New York (left) and with Coeur d’Alene Chief of Police Lee White. Alan Golub