NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (KFOR/Storyful) – A 27-year-old New York City off-duty police officer, the father of a young son, was shot in the head during a botched robbery in 1990 while washing his car. He spent the following 33 years in a vegetative state, before his death on April 29.

NYPD Det. Troy Patterson. Photo courtesy: NYPD Transportation Bureau.

Though Officer Troy Patterson never regained consciousness, he was promoted to detective in 2016.

In 1990, Patterson, whose son was just 5-years-old at the time, was approached by three young men at the Brooklyn car wash, who demanded $20. A 15-year-old then shot Patterson in the head, according to reports.

“We have vowed to never forget, and we prove it every year by gathering with his family, friends and colleagues for a candlelight vigil in his honor,” NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn North posted in January of 2022.

But for the final time, on May 1st, officers lined the streets to honor Patterson – this time to salute him, as his body was transferred to a Brooklyn funeral home.

“Whether it was 3 months or over 30 years ago, the NYPD never forgets. It is the pledge that we make to every member when they walk through the doors of our academy. It is our vow to lend our unwavering support to their families and honor legacies like that of Detective Troy Patterson,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

All three would-be robbers served prison time and have since been released, according to reports.