QUEENS — A Kew Gardens man shot his girlfriend in the head, then took the woman to the hospital and claimed she had been shot by masked robbers during a home invasion, authorities said Monday.
Police did not believe the story and charged Steven Diaz, 30, with shooting the 22-year-old Sunday morning inside their third-floor apartment on 127th Street, near Kew Gardens Road, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The motive was not immediately clear.
Police also found more than 10 pounds of marijuana in the apartment, according to the Queens DA's office.
Diaz is suspected of shooting Amanda Rivera with a 9 mm handgun sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Sunday and trying to get rid of the weapon by throwing it in a sewer, according to Brown.
He then drove his girlfriend to Jamaica Hospital, where he reported they'd been attacked by three masked robbers, one of whom shot her in the head, Brown said.
Rivera remains in critical condition, Brown said.
Diaz was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence.
If convicted, Diaz faces up to 25 years in prison.
“The defendant is accused of shooting his girlfriend in the head and causing severe damage to her brain,” Brown said. “If her condition changes and she does not survive, the charges will be upgraded.”
It was not clear if Diaz had a lawyer.