TRIBUTE: Portuguese Americans in Newark's Ironbound are reeling from the death of a beloved community police officer who devoted a great deal of his life to helping children.
Ricardo Barbosa, 29, of Belleville was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Bell Street home off White Oak Terrace shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to multiple reports.
Belleville officers conducted CPR on Barbosa, who responders said died a short time later.
"What can you say about an overall great guy whose love for his community showed in his actions every day?" the Portuguese American Police Association NJ wrote. "He will surely be missed by his friends and family. RIP Brother."
"I can't believe it. You were just a kid," added Philomena Johnson. "I just saw you not too long ago, you were joking around with me... I know your parents, your sister are devastated as the rest of your family and friends are."
Barbosa, who was married, joined the Newark Police Department in the field after graduating from the Passaic County Police Academy in 2016.
He loved the unique, mostly Portuguese neighborhood known as the Ironbound -- or "Down Neck" -- where he devoted his energies to the Girls and Boys Club, while working the streets as a community police officer.
Those who knew him described Barbosa as "compassionate, considerate and caring," a true professional and pillar of the community, with a smile that defined his personality.
A GoFundMe campaign seeks donations toward what its creator says will be funeral costs and other expenses for Barbosa's wife and family.
PHOTOS: Solange Coordenacao Mantena
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