Sunday, May 3, 2015

Suspect Faces String of Charges in Shooting of NYPD Officer in Queens

The plainclothes police officer who was shot in the head by a man who fired into his unmarked police car Saturday in Queens was out of surgery Sunday and remained in critical but stable condition, as the suspect faced charges, NYPD officials said. 
The suspected gunman, who police identified as 35-year-old Demitrius Blackwell of Queens, was apprehended after an intensive 90-minute search of the neighborhood. Charges against him include attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault. He is expected to be arraigned Sunday night, Queens County District Attorney's Office said.
The wounded officer, Brian Moore, 25, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in a patrol car and taken into surgery Saturday night. He was recovering from surgery Sunday morning.
The shooting occurred at about 6:15 p.m. when Moore and his partner, Officer Erik Jansen, approached a "person of interest" near the intersection of 212th Street and 104th Road in the Queens Village neighborhood, investigators said.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said during a news conference that the man the officers approached was "adjusting an object in his waistband." He then turned and fired several times into the unmarked car, he said.
Only Moore was struck by gunfire. Neither officer had time to return fire as the gunman fled on foot, Bratton said. Jansen immediately radioed for assistance, he said.
Police scoured the area and were seen walking on roofs and looking under parked cars as helicopters flew overhead.
Blackwell was arrested about 90 minutes later near the crime scene in a house on the block where he lives, according to officials.
He has an extensive arrest record, the commissioner added. "He also has done time (in prison)," he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had rushed to the hospital where the officer was being treated, said during the news conference that he was pleased that members of the community helped police locate the gunman.
"It's a painful day for all of us," he said. "Our hearts are with his family, his loved ones." 
Moore is a member of a "police family," Bratton said. His father and uncle are retired officers. He lives on Long Island and joined the NYPD in 2010.
The shooting comes less than six months after two NYPD officers were shot and killed in the wake of a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.