NEW YORK — For nearly six days, Tatyana and Leonid Timoshenko held vigil at the hospital bedside of their only son, Russel, praying the 23-year-old police officer would wake up and recover from his grave gunshot wounds.
He never did.
The day after three men were arraigned on charges that they killed the Belarus-born officer, the Timoshenkos again sat by their son's side - this time in the front pew of a funeral chapel for his wake.
Hundreds of mourners, some touching Russel's face in grief, paid respects at an open coffin where he lay in his dress uniform and an honor guard from the 71st Precinct stood sentry, flanked by a large photograph of the fallen officer and police-themed funeral sprays.
On hand to express condolences were his comrades from the 71st, as well as hundreds of other officers from across the five boroughs, who came with solemn faces and black bereavement bands across their badges. But average citizens also stood on line for more than an hour, telling Timoshenko's mother they didn't know her son but thanking her for his sacrifice. Even City Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn, a frequent police critic, came to the I.J. Morris Funeral Home in Brooklyn to pay respects.
Timoshenko's partner, Herman Yan, sat toward the back of the chapel, wearing a dress uniform coat. His left sleeve was empty because his arm is still recovering from wounds he received when the two men were shot during a stop of a stolen BMW July 9 in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.
Seconds after Timoshenko and Yan, 26, began walking toward the vehicle to question the occupants, Timoshenko was struck in the throat and mouth and Yan was hit in the arm and chest. Yan, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, is expected to make a full recovery.
Although detectives rushed Timoshenko to the hospital within minutes of the shooting, he remained on life support at Kings County Hospital Center for five days and never regained consciousness. He died Saturday.
The wake continues today. Funeral services for Timoshenko will be tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the I.J. Morris Funeral Home, 1895 Flatbush Ave.
Hundreds line up to pay tribute to fallen NYPD officers