The New York City Police Department says officers responded to a call of a break-in at a basement apartment on Pine Street in Cypress Hills around 2:15 a.m.
Police say two men wearing ski masks had entered the building and attacked the 25-year-old resident, hitting him on the head with a gun. They allegedly then stole cash and a watch.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the two suspects tried to flee but could not get out and hid in a side room.
When they tried to escape, Kelly says they ran into Officer Peter Figoski, 47, who was at the bottom of a stairwell leading from the street to the apartment.
Kelly says one of the suspects, Lamont Pride, 27, then shot Figoski in the face.
He was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he died.
"Police officer Peter Figoski who was part of the backup team that responded was at the bottom of the stairs leading to the street of that basement apartment door. When he was shot in the face by one of two assailants," Kelly said.
"A single round that entered through the cheek and coursed through the neck and exited at the base of the skull. During its course and trajectory unfortunately it severed some very vital arteries," said New York City Police Department Surgeon Eli Kleinman.
Police say Figoski's partner, Officer Glenn Estrada, was able to chase down Pride, who is now facing murder charges.
Authorities are still searching for the second suspect.
The man is described as being between 24 and 30 years old with black hair.
Police say he was wearing a light colored t-shirt and dark pants, and was last seen on surveillance video walking westbound in front of 204 Chestnut Street.
While visiting the hospital this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed condolences on behalf of the city.
"I just ask New Yorkers to keep Officer Figoski and his family and the entire NYPD family in their prayers and thoughts. And because of Officer Figoski and the thousands of other men and women in the NYPD ranks New York is the nation's safest big city year after year," Bloomberg said.
Police say an illegal semi-automatic gun and 10-round magazine was recovered at the scene.
Figoski was a 22-year veteran of the force who made more than 200 arrests in his career.
He was also awarded 12 medals, including eight for exceptional police duty.
The organization Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot is offering the $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the second suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-COP-SHOT.
All calls and information are kept confidential.