An NYPD inspector who had been questioned in the ongoing corruption probe of the department fatally shot himself in the head on Long Island on Friday.
Michael Ameri, 44, who was the head of the Highway District, was found dead in his black Ford Taurus by Suffolk County homicide detectives on the street next to the Bergen Point Golf Course in West Babylon, where he lived about four miles away, law enforcement sources said.
Witnesses told Suffolk County cops the car had been parked there since about 7:30 a.m.
It was not clear whether Ameri was a target of the joint FBI/NYPD investigations, and he had not been charged with any crimes or named as a suspect.
But the divorced father of a teenage son was one of several cops assigned to the highway district who were grilled about providing escorts and doing favors for a pair of shady businessmen in exchange for cash and gifts.
A department spokesman confirmed the details in a statement.
“Earlier this afternoon the Suffolk County Police Department informed the New York City Police Department that Inspector Michael Ameri, Commanding Officer of the Highway Patrol Unit, was found deceased in his vehicle of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Babylon, New York,” NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said.
“The Suffolk County Police Department will be conducting an investigation and we refer you to them for any further details about this incident.”
Roy Richter, head of the Captain’s Endowment Association, called Ameri an excellent cop.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of Michael Ameri and ask that you keep his family in your prayers during this traumatic time. Inspector Ameri is known as a dedicated police officer who excelled in all of his command assignments,” Richter said.
Ameri was named commanding officer of the district, which investigates serious highway accidents, in May 2014.
Previously, he was CO of the 78th Precinct in Park Slope, where he was friendly with Mayor deBlasio, who lived in the confines of the precinct at the time.
A source who spoke to him by phone on Wednesday said he sounded fine, and did not mention the probe.
The two businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, are suspected of offering cash and gifts to police brass in exchange for favors, such as free NYPD security at special events and rides to and from the airport.
The feds and the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau are looking at the allegations among several other cases of alleged corruption, including cops taking cash for expediting gun permits and getting luxe perks such as a flight so Las Vegas — with a hooker on board — from the pair.
In another part of the probe, Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a Borough Park Shomrim patrol leader. was arrested by the feds on April 17 on charges he paid off cops for the gun permits.
The FBI is also looking at two NYPD cops who suddenly retired from the gun-licensing division to start a business helping people get pistol permits at the same time Lichtenstein was allegedly bribing officers in that Brooklyn unit.
Ex-Lt. Paul Dean filed his retirement papers in December 2015, and Officer Robert Espinel left on Jan. 5.