As new details continue to emerge following the shooting deaths of two NYPD cops Saturday, it has been revealed that one of the victims, Officer Rafael Ramos, was a Christian who would have been officially commissioned as a lay chaplain on the very day he died.
Ramos, 40, who was killed alongside partner and fellow police officer Wenjian Liu, 32, viewed his law enforcement position as a form of ministry, according to the Christian Post.
New York State Chaplain Task Force president the Rev. Marcos Miranda told the outlet that Ramos had recently completed a 10-week program and was set to graduate Saturday.
his combination made from photos provided by the New York Police Department shows officers Rafael Ramos, left, and Wenjian Liu. Authorities say Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who vowed online to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner, ambushed Ramos in Liu in a patrol car Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, and fatally shot them in broad daylight before running to a subway station and killing himself. (AP Photo/New York Police Department)
"It was an honor to have [Officer Ramos]. He had just taken the 10-week course and was a faithful member of his local church, Christ Tabernacle," Mirando told the Christian Post. "He was due to graduate this past Saturday, where we graduated 144 chaplains. Ramos would have been a lay leader and been endorsed by his denomination."
The faith leader said that it was the officer's kindness that he will remember most, revealing that Ramos had shared with him that he viewed his cop job as a form of ministry that allowed him to help those in need.
"He excelled. He never thought he could be a chaplain. He thought only clergy could," Mirando told the Wall Street Journal. "So when he found the opportunity to train with us, he jumped on it. He saw himself doing full-time ministry after he retired from the NYPD."
Ronnie Gonzalez, Ramos' cousin, said that the fallen officer's family has already forgiven gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, claiming that they "don't believe in vengeance" and just want to forgive.
"He’s in the hands of God now," Gonzalez told WPIX-TV.
Before becoming a cop, Ramos worked from 2009 until 2012 as a school safety officer at Staten Island's Rocco Laurie School — named for an NYPD officer who was also assassinated in 1972.
Ramos also previously worked for Airborne Express/DHL for 14 years delivering packages, according to the New York Times.
(H/T: Christian Post)