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Man in Custody in Fatal Shooting of N.Y.P.D. Officer

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A 34-year-old man was in police custody on Tuesday in the fatal shooting of Police Officer Jonathan Diller during a traffic stop in Queens.

The man, Guy Rivera, 34, was sitting in the front seat of an S.U.V. parked in Far Rockaway shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday when Officer Diller and his partner approached, the police said. Mr. Rivera refused to step out of the illegally parked car and then fired his weapon through the passenger window, the authorities said.

His shot hit Officer Diller, 31, in the torso, just beneath his protective vest, the police said.

Officer Diller’s partner, Officer Veckash Khedna, returned fire, shooting Mr. Rivera in the back, according to the police and an internal Police Department report.

A second man, Lindy Jones, 41, was sitting in the driver’s seat, the police said, and was taken into custody after the shooting. He has not been arrested or charged.

Mr. Rivera had surgery at Jamaica Hospital and is expected to survive. He has not yet been arrested or charged in the killing because of his medical condition, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.

He has 21 prior arrests, including on charges of first-degree robbery, attempted assault and selling drugs to an undercover police officer, according to the police and state Corrections Department records.

Mr. Jones was arrested on a gun charge last year, according to the police and the internal police report. He has also spent seven years in prison for first-degree robbery and attempted murder, according to Corrections Department records.

After news of the shooting broke on Monday night, Mayor Eric Adams raced to Jamaica Hospital, where Officer Diller, who was married and had a baby son, was pronounced dead. The mayor mourned his loss at a news conference on Tuesday, saying that he wanted to call him by his first name to remember the human behind the shield.

Mr. Adams said that after he spent time with the officer’s wife at the hospital, he thought of his own family who had worried about him when he was a police officer. “It was just a senseless act of violence,” he said.

The killing of Officer Diller was one of two tragic events Mayor Adams had to confront on Monday night. Shortly after he announced Officer Diller’s death, the police said a 24-year-old man had pushed another man off a subway platform in East Harlem and into the path of a No. 4 train. The victim died, and Carlton McPherson, 24, was charged with murder.

The incidents put a spotlight on some New Yorkers’ fears about public safety, which have persisted while crime has fallen across the city: Murders and shootings have both decreased by nearly 18 percent this year compared with the same time period last year.

In the 101st Precinct, where Officer Diller was killed, the number of arrests in serious crimes has mostly remained steady or decreased. As of Sunday, there has been one shooting and one murder this year compared with three shootings and no murders during the same time period in 2023. (These numbers do not include the fatal shooting of Officer Diller.) Felony assaults, though, have risen to 73 from 41 last year.

On Monday night, Mayor Adams, Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban and dozens of other officers and city police union officials paid their respects to Officer Diller and formed a line that went from the hospital hallway to the parking lot outside.

The glow of blue and red police lights illuminated their faces as they saluted Officer Diller, who was wheeled out on a gurney by members of the emergency services unit. A Police Department flag was draped over his body.

Officer Diller’s body was placed in the back of a police vehicle and driven to Manhattan, accompanied by a slow-moving motorcade. As it approached the Midtown Tunnel, New York State troopers and emergency service workers stood along the expressway and on an overpass.

Firefighters and more police officers stood along East 31st Street near First Avenue as the police vehicle carrying Officer Diller pulled up to the Office of the City Medical Examiner.

“Thank you to all those who helped our grieving department transfer Jonathan with the respect he deserved,” Commissioner Caban said in a social media post.

Before Monday, the last New York police officers killed in the line of duty were Jason Rivera and his partner, Wilbert Mora. The officers were gunned down in January 2022 while answering a domestic disturbance call in Harlem.



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