A veteran NYPD detective was among six members of the U.S. military who were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when a suicide bomber slammed an explosive-laden motorcycle into their patrol, officials said.
Detective Joseph Lemm was a 15-year veteran of the NYPD and a member of the Air National Guard.
The married father of two was deployed three times—twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement.
“Detective Joseph Lemm epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first,” Bratton said.
Lemm was promoted to detective third-grade in January 2014, police said. He served in the Bronx Warrant Squad.
“Tonight, we grieve and we remember this selfless public servant who dedicated his life to protecting others,” Bratton said.
Lemm is the third NYPD officer killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the department said.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the deadliest strike against international forces since August, officials said.
In addition to the six U.S. servicemen killed, two American service members and a contractor were injured during the joint NATO-Afghan patrol outside Bagram Air Base, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement.
“It serves as a painful reminder of the dangers our troops face every day in Afghanistan,” Carter said.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of these brave Americans who died in service to this vital mission, and our thoughts remain with all of our troops serving overseas during this holiday season so that we may have peace and security at home,” he continued.