The thin blue line trickled with tears at a candlelight vigil outside the deceased 31-year-old’s apartment on 780 Grand Concourse as the department struggled to come to terms with the loss of a fellow officer, but more importantly, a woman and friend.
The somber affair was hosted by We All Really Matter (W.A.R.M.), a domestic violence support group. Clutching candles and one another, sorrowful speakers lamented that even officers are susceptible to gender-based violence.
“Many folks wouldn’t think that a police officer would be a victim of domestic violence. When we got a 911 call the other day and never thought that it would be one of your own. This is a police officer who recently saved lives and was called an angel,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said. “We are part of the community and the things and the violence and the sorrow that affects you in your home affects us in ours.”
Reyes-Gomez was allegedly murdered by estranged husband, 33-year-old Argenis Baez wo reportedly stabbed his wife multiple times. Reyes-Gomez was off-dty when the incident took place and was found dead during the earlyhours of the morning on Monday.
“As I stand here and look at the faces of the NYPD officers it is a sad day,” Commissioner of Community Affairs Mark Stewart said. “I see the pain in everyone’s heart. Let you know that we all are with you. When we walk away today, we try to imagine why and how this could happen?”
With the aid of a translator, Julissa Reyes, the slain officer’s sister, cried as she recalled memories of Arianna, describing the young woman as a humble individual with a big heart who did not deserve to die such a horrific and brutal death.
Reyes began to profusely cry, still in shock over Arianna’s death, stating that her sister was a giver who only wanted the best for her family.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and other elected officials joined religious leader Rev. Oswald Denis and members of the NYPD in succumbing to a deluge of grief as they lit candles and shared words of comfort for Arianna’s family.
At the conclusion of the vigil, the large gathering released balloons into the sky and sung “This Little Light of Mine,” in memory of their friend and neighbor.