An NYPD cop is set to climb the world’s highest free-standing mountain in honor of a fallen partner.
Lt. Manny Kwo is taking on the daunting challenge of scaling Mount Kilimanjaro two years after his partner, Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, gave his life while protecting him during a gunfight.
In 2016, Kwo and Tuozzolo came under fire by a home invasion suspect. Kwo took a gunshot to the leg, while a bullet took Tuozzolo’s life in a tragedy that touched the whole city.
“Two and a half years ago was absolutely the worst day of my life, and for the family of Sgt Tuozzolo,” said Kwo.
Kwo says his partner saved his life during the gunfight — something he will never forget.
“Every time I think about what Paul did for me that day, I am left floored at the amount of courage and heroism he had within him,” Kwo said.
So now Kwo will be climbing the ferocious mountain to honor Tuozzolo’s bravery and sacrifice, but he won’t be alone. Two other brothers in blue will be joining him on his ascent, Det. Nicholas Anastasakos and Lt. Charles Trento, the one who came up with the whole idea despite saying he’s “never done anything like this.”
The trio is using their climb to raise money for The Ronald McDonald House, supporting children sufferning from cancer and their families. For Kwo, it is the perfect tribute for his partner who died saving others.
“As police officers, we’re called to serve,” said Kwo, “Sometimes it’s not just arresting people. Sometimes it’s an act of service we do for others.”
The group is hoping to raise $20,000 for the foundation. Anyone who would like to contribute or help in any way can visit kiliwarriorexpeditions.com