Deputy U.S. marshal dies of 9/11-linked cancer

Jane Lerner Lower Hudson Journal News

Deputy Marshal Zacharias Toro receives award one week before his death Photo: Submitted

Deputy Marshal Zacharias Toro receives award one week before his death Photo: submitted

Zacarias Toro, a deputy U.S. marshal who lived in Nanuet, died of cancer at his home Sunday, nearly 14 years after he was exposed to toxic smoke at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Toro, 50, died just a week after he was awarded the U.S. Marshals Service’s Purple Heart Award for his heroism during the terrorist attacks on New York City.

He was stationed at 500 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and he and other marshals were deployed to the smoldering rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center to take part in search and rescue missions and to provide security, his son, Jeremy, said.

Zacarias Toro was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, which the World Trade Center Health Program determined was related to his service.

“When a law enforcement officer dies as a result of his duty, it is an immeasurable tragedy felt by all,” Director Stacia A. Hylton said in a statement. “We committed as a country that we shall never forget those we lost and the heroism of those that responded.”

Toro grew up in New York City and his career with the marshals service began with his work as a detention enforcement officer in August 2000. He was later promoted to deputy U.S. marshal. He worked in New York, Arizona and California.

Toro was very active at his church, New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church in Haverstraw, where he taught Sunday school. He is survived by his wife Lorraine; children Zachary, Jeremy, Nicholas and Emily; and his mother, Benita Mongual.

The George M. Holt Funeral Home in Haverstraw is handling arrangements. Visitation will be held at the Redeeming Love Christian Center, 145 West Route 59, Nanuet, Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., with a church service at 7:30 p.m. Toro’s funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday at the Redeeming Love Christian Center. Burial will follow at Mt. Repose Cemetery in Haverstraw.

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