NEW YORK -- Policemen in Brooklyn's 'Alamo' precinct Saturday mourned the suicide of fellow officer Brian O'Regan, and one voiced anger at the 'rats' who exposed the scandal that sent him into hiding the day before his death.
O'Regan, 41 -- a 13-year police veteran -- shot himself in the head Friday in a motel room on Long Island after failing to appear for arraignment Thursday in the biggest New York City police scandal since the 1970s.
Twelve other police officers are charged in thescandal that includes allegations of selling guns, shaking down drug dealers and dealing drugs on the Bedford-Stuyvesant streets they patrol.
At the 7 a.m. roll call at the 77th Precinct station house -- dubbed the 'Alamo' by officers who work there -- the American flag flew half-staff in the rain, and a seargant told his somber crew, 'You all know what happened. You got a job to do. Now you gotta go out and do it.'
'It's a tragedy,' said Officer Angel Sanchez, one of many brought in from surrounding precincts to beef up street patrols when the drug scandal was uncovered.
'He was a member of the family,' officer Kevin Glenn said, trying to stay dry in his black police slicker on a street corner.
Glenn knew O'Regan, and like other police officers, feared O'Regan might kill himself after failing to appear for his arraignment.
'He didn't want to go to prison. A cop in prison -- it's not the place to be,' he said.
At the two-story tan brick station house, a six-person desk crew stared blankly through questions from reporters, trying to refrain from talking.
One policewoman began to express her feelings but stopped short, saying 'I'd rather not say.'
But another officer, thinking of two officers who cooperated in the scandal investigation, could not hold his tongue.
'I have a question,' said police officer Shaw, who refused to give his first name.
'Is the judge going to let us bring our guns into the courtroom when Winter and Magno -- the two rats -- take the stand?' he asked, referring to police officers Anthony Magno and Henry Winter who helped uncover the scandal.
Police had issued an arrest warrant for O'Regan, who was charged with 82 counts, primarily drug violations, burglary and official misconduct. He faced a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.
When he killed himself, he wore a blue T-shirt emblazoned with the words, '77th Precinct, The Alamo, Under Siege.' When his body was found, he still clutched the .25 caliber revolver that he used to commit suicide.
Police found a half-empty bottle of whiskey in the room and a note to his 25-year-old girlfriend. It said, 'I love you, hon,' a source told New York Daily News.
A New York Newsday reporter interviewed O'Regan Wednesday night in a Queens diner and described the officer as looking like a soldier suffering from battle fatigue.
'Now I'm under siege,' O'Regan said.
O'Regan, who received eight citations for excellent duty or bravery during his career, said his partner, Sgt. William Gallagher, induced him into corruption.
'I can see how it can happen,' Glenn said. 'Sometimes you get drawn to the boss who is wrong. You gotta listen to your supervisor. It's paramilitary. But he (O'Regan) should have backed away.'
The support the officers were giving to each other was not returned by some members of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
A group of teenage boys on a steet corner yelled at a passerby in civilian clothes who they suspected was an undercover policeman, 'Hey officer. Wanna buy a jumbo? We know you're a detective!'
The remark was an apparent reference to alleged drug-taking by officers in the precinct.