NYPD officer allegedly killed in murder-suicide was a longtime mental health advocate, friends and neighbors say

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By Dan Sears

A young police officer who was shot and killed by his father in an apparent murder-suicide on Wednesday was passionate about causes that supported mental health, according to neighbors and social media posts from the organizations he worked with.

Alexis Martinez, 26, was especially involved with Beyond the Badge, a nonprofit that aims to break the stigma around suicide and mental health issues for first responders.

“Devastated is an understatement!” wrote one of the organization’s leaders in a Facebook post about Martinez. The post’s author, who is not named, explained that Martinez had joined the organization’s NYPD softball team for “Strikeout Suicide,” which aims to raise money and awareness for first responders’ mental health through tournaments and events.

Martinez worked in the Bronx narcotics unit, according to the NYPD. Department officials said he was killed in a domestic incident around noon on Wednesday at a building on Fteley Avenue in Soundview.

On Thursday, neighbors and residents of the tight-knit community in the building concurred with news reports that said Martinez’s own father killed him before fatally shooting himself in his fourth-floor apartment — though police have not officially confirmed this. It was unclear if Martinez was permanently living with his father or just visiting.

“I received a DM from Alexis asking how he can go about playing in the tournament, because breaking the stigma of mental health was a priority to him and liked the work we were doing,” the Facebook post’s author wrote. “Alexis you were going big places … you were the change this world needed … you were robbed of soo much!”

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Next-door neighbor Estephany Garcia, who happens to be married to Martinez’s cousin, said the family is struggling to process the tragedy.

Garcia said Martinez’s father suffered from depression but was on medication. Martinez made sure he took it, she said.

“He was really close to his father,” she said. “He would say ‘Dad, come, let’s go to the doctor, have you taken your pills?’ He was always attentive to his dad.”

“I never thought this would happen,” she added.

On Thursday, other neighbors in the building also expressed shock about the murder-suicide. They said they never knew Martinez’s father had any problems with his mental health.

“I saw him drinking literally once out of the 20-plus years I knew him. I’ve seen him argue with someone only once,” said longtime neighbor Luis C., who didn’t want his last name used because he is a former member of the NYPD. “He was a taxi driver. He used to take everybody all over the place. He took me to the airport a couple of times.”

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Luis said Martinez was a good young man and a caring neighbor who had recently looked out for him when he was waiting for an ambulance after an episode of sickness caused by his pancreatic cancer.

“We all saw him grow up. It’s just devastating,” he said. “It’s a super tragedy, and no one’s going to be able to figure out what happened. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors, but I would find it really weird to hear that there were problems behind closed doors. Because I just can’t believe it. They were just good men.”

Martinez’s mother and father were separated, according to neighbors, but she would frequently come and visit the family from her home in the Dominican Republic. They said Martinez had one brother who did not live with his father.

Garcia said the brother’s pregnant girlfriend was in the apartment at the time of the shooting, and was the one who discovered the two bodies.

The Daily News reported that Martinez and his father were discovered when the officer didn’t show up for a department baseball game. His NYPD teammates came to look for him, and found both men dead from gunshot wounds to the head.

NYPD records show that Martinez joined the department in 2018, and was assigned to Manhattan’s 34th Precinct before moving to the Bronx narcotics unit in May 2023.

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Garcia said Martinez was very dedicated to his job.

“He worked a lot, because I didn’t see him much,” she said. “He was loved.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org, take the person to an emergency room, or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

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