Police officer, Arthur Lopez, 29, of the Nassau County Police Department was shot and killed by Darrell Fuller, 33, during a traffic stop on the Cross Island Parkway near the border the Long Island suburban community of Nassau County shares with the New York City borough of Queens.
The violent incident began shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday morning when Lopez and his partner Clarence Hudson, both members of the Emergency Service Unit (ESU), attempted to stop and question Fuller after they witnessed his silver Honda driving away from a two-car accident on Northern Boulevard.
According to the statements made by Nassau County police officials at a press conference, the tires on Fuller’s Honda were blown out and the vehicle was riding on its rims.
Fuller entered the Cross Island Parkway with Lopez and Hudson in pursuit before he exited on Jamaica Avenue in Bellerose Terrace and came to a stop on 241st Street near the Nassau County – Queens border.
Lopez approached the vehicle alone and briefly exchanged words with Fuller before the ex-convict emerged from the Honda with a handgun and discharged a single round into the officer’s chest.
Lopez was not wearing his bulletproof vest when he was shot by Fuller.
As Hudson rendered first aid in a desperate bid to save the mortally wounded Lopez, Fuller escaped from the scene and drove back on to the Cross Island Parkway.
Despite Hudson’s efforts, Lopez succumbed to his injury and was pronounced dead on arrival at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital.
Fuller drove along the Cross Island Parkway, crossing over from Nassau County into Queens where he forced another driver off the road with his vehicle. The gunmen discharged a single round into the head of the driver before abandoning the Honda speeding off in the vehicle of his victim.
The body of the victim was left behind, lying in the road between the Hempstead Turnpike and Jamaica Avenue exits off the parkway, near the Belmont Park racetrack.
Fuller drove the vehicle of his carjacking victim only a short distance before making the decision to abandon it and flee on foot.
The victim’s body was soon discovered near the abandoned Honda on the Cross Island Parkway by the NYPD. Authorities identified the victim of the carjacking as Raymond Facey, 52.
Facey, a resident of Queens was an immigrant from Jamaica. He and his wife, June Facey, are the parents of four daughters.
The New York Daily News
reports Facey was in a phone conversation with his daughter at the time of his death.
“Someone is chasing me,” a very frightened and frantic Facey told his daughter, Daliah, just seconds before Fuller ran the doomed man’s vehicle off the road, pulled the trigger and stole his car.
Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers in Nassau County launched a massive manhunt to capture Fuller.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) joined the manhunt a few hours later, assisting the Long Island police agency by searching both Nassau County and Queens.
Hundreds of NYPD and Nassau County police detectives working together began chasing down leads and knocking on the doors of numerous homes in the largely suburban area as low-flying helicopters from the NYPD hovered over houses, intersections and the Cross Island Parkway in search of the double-murder suspect.
The NYPD also closed down nine schools in the area during their search out of safety concerns for students and school staff.
The New York Post
informs that officers from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Department and even agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) participated in the search for the murder suspect.
Fuller was finally located at 6:30 p.m. by NYPD officers in a stolen van at 175th Street and 111th Avenue just a few blocks from his home in the Queens neighborhood of St. Albans.
Police said Fuller had a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his shoulder when they took him into custody.
A 911 call reporting the sound of a gunshot coming from the van lead police to the location and the discovery of Fuller. The murder suspect surrendered to police without further incident.
The New York Times
reports Fuller was taken to Queens’ Jamaica Hospital Center for treatment of the gunshot wound. He remains in the hospital under very heavy police guard.
Authorities say they are currently stumped as to why Fuller embarked on the killing spree.
In comments to the Daily News, Fuller’s cousin, Lashonda Jones, 35, said he was receiving kidney dialysis treatment at a local Queens hospital shortly before the violence began.
Jones also expressed disbelief that Fuller could be capable of such mayhem and even seemed to provide justification for his actions.
“He’s not a monster. People have their breaking points,” said Jones to the Daily News outside of Jamaica Hospital Center where police would not allow her to see Fuller. “He just made a bad decision. I don’t know what point he was at.”
Fuller, who eked out a living repairing cars, was a dangerous man with a violent criminal history.
Authorities say Fuller served five years for a 2004 attempted murder conviction in Queens and was later arrested for violating his parole.
The murder suspect was arrested by police in Nassau County in March 2010 for drug dealing. Fuller spent nine months in jail after that arrest.
Nassau County Police Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association officials are demanding a probe into why Fuller was not kept behind bars after his arrest two years ago for drug dealing.
The shooting has left the entire Nassau County police force deeply shaken and has been headline news throughout Long Island.
Lopez, a decorated ESU officer with eight years on the force shared a home with his parents on Babylon, Long Island, and would have celebrated his 30th birthday next week.
Meanwhile, Hudson, the slain officer’s partner, remains at a local hospital where he is being treated for emotional trauma after the shooting.
Lopez was the second officer on the Nassau County police force to be killed in the line of duty within the past week.
Officer Joseph Olivieri, 43
, a Highway patrolman with the department was killed last Thursday when he was struck by a speeding car on the Long Island Expressway while investigating a traffic accident.
The last shooting death of a Nassau County police officer was a case of friendly fire and occurred on March 12, 2011, when Officer Geoffrey J. Breitkopf
was shot accidentally by a MTA police officer at a crime scene.