QUEENS — A gang member who fired at two officers in Elmhurst was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday, the Queens DA said.
“Any Body Killers” gang member Christian Mosquera, 22, was convicted on attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon charges after he fired a .22-caliber pistol at a civilian and two responding officers at Lamont Avenue and 94th Street on June 21, 2014.
“The actions of this defendant are a prime example of how dangerous police work in this city can be. Every day, police officers risk their lives protecting the citizens of and the visitors to New York City,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
“Two officers heard gunshots while on patrol and rushed to the scene. They spotted the defendant with a gun and ordered him to drop the weapon, but instead of complying with the command he turned the firearm toward police and fired. Fortunately, neither officer was [hit]. Under the circumstances, the sentence imposed by the Court today is more than warranted.”
The officers returned fire, but missed Mosquera.
He was arrested about a week later in Union City, New Jersey.
Mosquera, who is from Corona, was found guilty by a jury in Queens Supreme Court and sentenced by Judge Kenneth Holder.
His lawyer, Jorge Santos, said a rival gang member followed Mosquera after he got out of a cab and that his client fired at him in self defense.
It was dark and the officers then arrived within seconds of the shooting, creating "reasonable doubt" Mosquera was aware he was shooting at officers, his lawyer added.
The jury acquitted the gang member on the top of charge of attempted murder of a police officer, which carries a sentence of life in prison, Santos said.
"The police offices were particularly brave," the lawyer added about the responding officers.