Gunman Arrested After Allegedly Killing Nassau Cop and Motorist in Queens
By DNAinfo Staff on October 23, 2012 1:03pm |
BELLEROSE — A Nassau County cop and a motorist were gunned down in a shooting rampage in Queens Tuesday morning, and after an hours-long manhunt, police arrested the alleged killer, law enforcement sources and officials said.
The officer, 29-year-old Arthur Lopez, a member of the county's Emergency Service Unit, was shot in the chest during a traffic stop near the Cross Island Parkway about 11 a.m., officials said.
The suspected gunman, identified as Darrell Fuller, 33, then pulled a driver from a nearby car, shot him in the head and fled in the stolen vehicle, officials said.
Fuller was arrested Tuesday evening after police found him in a different car at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Queens with gunshot wounds to his shoulder that appeared to be self-inflicted, Nassau County officials said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where is in stable condition and guarded by police, officials said Wednesday.
Fuller was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted murder in 2005 and then was arrested again in 2010 for selling cocaine, officials said. He was recently paroled for the second time after serving about seven months in prison.
Lopez's fatal pursuit of Fuller Tuesday morning began when he spotted the suspect's silver Honda flee the scene of an accident near Northern Boulevard, on the border between Queens and Nassau counties, officials said.
Lopez and his partner chased the suspect south on Cross Island Parkway to the Jamaica exit, and when they stopped him at Jamaica and 241st Street, he burst out of his car, and after a brief verbal exchange, he started firing, officials said.
Lopez was struck in the chest and collapsed to the ground. He was not wearing a bulletproof vest, Nassau County police officials said.
As Lopez's partner tried to save his life, Fuller fled south on the Cross Island Parkway — and then stopped a nearby car, pulled out the driver and shot him in the head, police said. Sources said the man, identified as Raymond Facey, 52, had been talking on the phone to his daughter when Fuller pulled him from the car.
The suspect then got into the stolen vehicle, drove a short distance and abandoned it. He fled on foot, leaving a blood trail behind suggesting he may have been injured, sources said.
Paul Walcott, who was pumping air into his tire at a Mobil station at the entrance to the Cross Island Parkway Tuesday morning, said he saw police stop the suspect's SUV just before the shooting.
"[The police officer] was just about 5 feet away when the shots just sprang out," said Walcott, 40. "His mouth was still moving when he was shot."
Walcott said he heard about four gunshots.
Lopez was rushed to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he died, officials said.
Facey, the carjacking victim, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lopez's partner was being treated for trauma, officials said.
"This is a tragic day for Nassau County," Police Commissioner Thomas Dale told reporters.
Hundreds of detectives from the NYPD and Nassau County Police Department hunted for Fuller Tuesday. The NYPD captured him Tuesday evening after receiving a 911 call about gunshots fired in a car in Queens and finding the injured suspect in the car, officials said.
Nassau County PBA President James Carver described Lopez, a Babylon resident, as "full of life, full of energy, great cop, great energy."
He was an eight-year veteran of the police department and also worked as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, Nassau County officials said. He is survived by his parents and sister, officials said.
Lopez's neighbors were devastated to hear he had been killed.
"He did a job that he loved and he was gunned down," said Robert Roca, 59. "I'm shocked. It's a terrible thing that happened."
Marie Greer, 79, Lopez's neighbor for the past five years, said he shoveled the snow in front of her house and checked in on her after a hurricane to make sure she was alright.
"He wasn't only a policeman, he was a good person," Greer said. "He was always there for me. He was such a caring person.... For a young man to be so concerned about a neighbor — it was just beautiful. My children always said I was lucky to have him as a neighbor."
Natyvydad Ortiz, 79, who lives in the building where Lopez grew up in Flushing, said Lopez's mother was going to be shattered by her son's death.
"I wish he had a bulletproof vest on," Ortiz said.
Several schools in Queens locked down following the shooting, preventing students from leaving the building, a Department of Education spokeswoman said. The schools include P.S./M.S. 147, I.S. 109, I.S. 192, P.S. 134 and Campus Magnet, which has four schools, the DOE said.
"The status was lifted and schools dismissed all students at their regular time," the DOE spokeswoman said in an email.
The Cross Island Parkway was closed most of the day but reopened to traffic just before 8 p.m., the city said.
With reporting by Joe Parziale, Paul DeBenedetto and Natalie Musumeci