A 25-year-old New York City police officer from Massapequa died Monday after authorities said he was shot in the head by an alleged gunman while patrolling Queens Village over the weekend.
Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Those charges are likely to be upgraded after the officer, Brian Moore, who was admitted in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, died, according to the NYPD.
“Condolences to the family of PO Brian Moore who lost his life today. RIP to a true hero. We will never forget. #Hero,” tweeted the department’s 104th Precinct Monday afternoon.
“The defendant is accused of firing a weapon at two officers without warning, one of whom was struck in the head,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendant faces life in prison for his alleged actions.”
Authorities said Officer Moore and his partner, Officer Erik Jansen, were in plain clothes and sitting inside an unmarked patrol car while assigned to the 105th Precinct anti-crime team when they saw Blackwell “adjusting an object in his waistband” at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said.
Officer Moore, who was driving, followed the suspect as he walked southbound on 212nd Street, and questioned Blackwell about his actions as he turned eastbound on 104th Road. Then the suspect allegedly fired two shots into the police car, striking Officer Moore in the head, police said.
The suspect fled while Officer Jansen called for backup. Moore, who was on the force for five years, underwent emergency surgery and was in a medically-induced coma upon being hospitalized. Blackwell was apprehended 90 minutes later in the South Queens neighborhood about a mile from the Nassau County line. Police said that he had numerous prior convictions for violent felonies.
Queens Judge Michael Yavinsky ordered Blackwell held without bail Sunday. Blackwell is due back in Queens court Friday. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.