New York police officer fatally shot during traffic stop

This photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows a gun recovered at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York. A New York City police officer was shot and killed Monday during a traffic stop in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, the city's mayor said. The officer and his partner were part of the NYPD Critical Response Team. (New York City Police Department via AP)

This photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows a gun recovered at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York. A New York City police officer was shot and killed Monday during a traffic stop in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, the city’s mayor said. The officer and his partner were part of the NYPD Critical Response Team. (New York City Police Department via AP)

A New York City police officer was shot and killed Monday during a traffic stop, the city’s mayor said. It marked the first slaying of an NYPD officer in two years.

“We lost one of our sons today and it is extremely painful. It is extremely painful,” Mayor Eric Adams said, addressing reporters at a hospital in Queens.

The shooting happened just before 5:50 p.m. in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, police said. Officer Jonathan Diller and his partner were part of the NYPD Community Response Team and were conducting a traffic stop at the time.

As they approached the vehicle, the suspect pointed a gun toward the officers and shot Diller beneath his bullet-proof vest, said Police Commissioner Edward Caban, who identified the slain officer on X, formerly known as Twitter. He said Diller’s partner returned fire and shot one of the people in the vehicle, who was taken to an area hospital.

Diller was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center but could not be saved, officials said. A three-year veteran of the police department, he was married with a young child, Caban said.

“We struggle to find the words to express the tragedy of losing one of our own,” Caban said on X.

The police department’s chief of detectives, Joseph Kenny, said the two officers had initially initiated contact with the driver and his passenger because they were parked at a bus stop illegally.

“He was asked to leave the car,” Kenny said of the driver. “He was given a lawful order numerous times to step out of the car. He refused. And when the officers took him out of the car, rather than stepping out of the car, he shot our officer.”

Kenny said Diller “stayed in the fight” after being wounded and tried to disarm the suspect, who Kenny said was previously arrested on a gun charge in April 2023.

“The gun hit the ground. And as the perpetrator was still reaching for it, this cop was able to grab it, although he was still shot,” Kenny said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene.

“It happened so fast,” one bystander, Melissa Morgan, 39, told the Daily News. “The police officer fell on the floor and the other officers dragged the two guys out of the car. I was running for cover.”

Another witness, Deon Peters, told the New York Post he saw Diller on the ground.

“He was moving, he was saying ‘I’m hit, I’m hit,’” Peters said.

The slaying was the first of an NYPD officer since 2022, when two officers, Wilbert Mora, 27, and Jason Rivera, 22, were ambushed in a Harlem apartment building after responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Adams, who said he met with Diller’s grieving widow, called the shooting a “senseless act of violence.”

“Can I say it any clearer? It is the good guys against the bad guys,” he said. “And these bad guys are violent. They carry guns. And the symbol of our public safety, which is that police uniform, they have a total disregard for.”

Patrick Hendry, president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York, expressed anger over the shooting.

“These attacks on New York City police officers have to end right now,” he said. “We have a family upstairs that’s devastated. We have police officers in this hallway who lost a brother. It has to end now.”

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Associated Press Writers Michael R. Sisak and Jake Offenhartz contributed to this report.

AP U.S. News

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