Please take a moment and remember Investigator Ricky Parisian, SIU White Plains, who was killed on this day, twenty eight years ago.
On May 20, 1994, Investigator Parisian, 34, was shot and killed when he attempted to stop an armed robbery at the Great American supermarket in the City of Oneonta. Inv. Parisian, who was off-duty at the time, was shopping with his wife, Debra, when he spotted a robbery being committed in the store by a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun. Assisted by his wife, Parisian first ushered store customers to a safe area then ran to the front of the store where he tackled the robber through the plate glass window. The attacker then rose to his feet and fired once at Parisian striking him in the chest. Mortally wounded, Parisian continued to struggle with the suspect and managed to tear off his ski mask and disarm him. He subsequently collapsed and his attacker fled. The mask and shotgun were secured as evidence and were instrumental in the apprehension of the robber.
On Wednesday, May 18th, on behalf of all current and former SIU Members, myself and former SIU detail commander Lt/Col Robert Gregory met with Inv Steve Sochor (SIU Binghamton) and Troopers Lindsey Rumenapp and Max Gorence, SP Oneonta, and placed purple roses at Ricky’s burial site as well as the site of his murder in Oneonta. This was a tradition started by then Major Thomas Marmion, SIU Detail Commander, and has been continued since. We then attended the Troop C Memorial Day ceremony and had an opportunity to speak with Ricky’s widow, Deb, and his brothers who were in attendance to pay tribute to their fallen loved one. Deb was genuinely grateful for our continued remembrance of Ricky and his family. During the conversation, Deb mentioned that Ricky’s tombstone is beginning to sink on one side causing it to lean and is in need of repair so SIU volunteered to help with those repairs. Below is an email I received from Deb regarding the conversation we had at the Troop C Memorial Day ceremony:
“Hello Major Donn,
I’d like to personally thank you and the ‘Major team’ for your enveloping nature, and making it a continued point to include the Parisian’s in your SIU family. It warms my heart to know you visit the plaque and cemetery annually, and provide ongoing ‘education’ to area troopers about Rick’s story. I had the opportunity to talk with Kathy Bailey after seeing you yesterday and she shared stories of your past meetings up ‘on the hill’ where Ricky resides.
I also regret that each May 20th, I miss your trip to visit Ricky’s memorial due to an exciting obligation at the Oneonta High School. Each year on May 20th at 9am, Parisian Foundation directors, along with family & friends attend the announcement of the annual Parisian Scholarship award that continues with the student through completion of their first degree. It’s a character award so we get to meet the most outstanding young person in each class.
[If you ever want to join us for this announcement, you’re welcome to attend, that would be a hoot]
Lastly, I would like to embrace you for your willingness to assist with righting Ricky’s monument at the cemetery. Today, I had a phone conversation with the knowledgeable party on this project. It is not promising that we would be granted permission to allow that, most specifically for liability issues. The party that would be responsible (St. Mary’s Church) if one of us were hurt is unable to take that risk. It has been a topic of conversation with other families in the past. That said, it may just encourage the responsible party to not lose sight of our need and look to keep it high on their “to do” list.
My Continued Best,
Ricky is remembered for his heroism, bravery and commitment to duty as well as his selfless sacrifice protecting others. Please continue to keep Ricky and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
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Association of Former New York State Troopers Inc.