A 22-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for shooting a Nassau County police officer as he was fleeing the scene of a home invasion in New Hyde Park.
Cong Xu’s three-decade prison term, handed down by Acting Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Philip Grella, comes after Xu pleaded guilty in April to assault and burglary charges.
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement that Officer Mohit Arora had been seriously wounded while he was responding to the August 2013 burglary.
“On behalf of the people of Nassau County, I give my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Officer Arora and to his brothers and sisters in uniform for their commitment to keeping us safe,” Singas said.
Prosecutors said Xu and his 24-year-old co-defendant, Renhang Qiu, also of Brooklyn, broke into a house on Campbell Street where they were confronted by police after someone inside the home had dialed 911.
As Xu fled, he turned back toward the officers and fired several rounds from a handgun, striking Officer Arora in his lower abdomen, prosecutors said.
Arora, a six-year veteran of the NCPD at the time, was transported to North Shore University Hospital for treatment. He has since returned to duty but still receives physical therapy, according to Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver.
Carver said the PBA union was pleased with the deal struck between prosecutors and Xu’s attorney.
“I think it sends a strong message to anyone that if you’re going to commit a crime in Nassau County…more importantly if you’re going to shoot at a police officer…we’re gonna catch you,” Carver told the Press.
The New Hyde Park shooting had sparked a dramatic pursuit, with officers following Xu through a nearby school yard before taking him into custody. Qiu was apprehended near the scene of the shooting.
At the time of the burglary, two people were inside the house, police said at the time.
Qiu, who last summer pleaded guilty to a single burglary charge, is scheduled to be sentenced June 19.