Mount Vernon police officer dead in apparent suicide
Officials say they believe the Mount Vernon police officer found dead in a parking lot killed himself.
Officer Daniel Vize, 23, was found around 3 p.m. Monday in a parking lot at Stevens Avenue and Roosevelt Square. Officials say he died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. His fellow officers say they went looking for him when he didn?t show up for work on Labor Day.
Authorities say Vize comes from a family of police officers. His father, Lt. John Vize, serves in New Castle and his sister works in Westchester County?s Public Safety Department. Vize also has two uncles who are police officers in the county and other family members who served in New York City.
Mount Vernon Police Commissioner David Chong says the officer had unlimited potential and that the entire department is very grief stricken. ?He was an up-and-coming superstar,? Chong says.
Vize?s family, friends and the community he lived in are mourning the loss of the young officer. Vize? s badge number, along with purple and black bunting, are on display at Mount Vernon?s police station. But those who knew Vize say they want to know why such a promising young man would take his own life.
Police officers say there was no indication that anything was bothering Vize in his personal or professional life. They?re also unsure of whether Vize left a suicide note. They say he was a dedicated young man who loved his community and loved being a Mount Vernon police officer.
The death is second this year for the Mount Vernon Police Department. Officer Christopher Ridley was killed in January in what officials called a friendly fire incident.
?We still haven't recovered from Christopher Ridley and we won't recover from Christopher Ridley,? Chong says. ?To lose another young vibrant life has hurt this department to its core."
Officers went to Vize?s house to pay respect to the officer?s family and neighbors. Back at the police department, grief counselors are helping the officers cope with the loss of another team member.
Police say since Vize?s death did not happen in the line of duty, there probably will not be a traditional police funeral. However, police do plan on doing something special to remember Vize since his family has given so much to the department over the years.
A wake will be held for Vize Thursday at Clark Funeral Home in Yorktown. The funeral mass for Vize will be Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Yorktown.
Mount Vernon police officer found dead
For footage of News 12?s interview with Chong, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.