Cop killed by madman who then guns down innocent driver on Cross Island
A deranged parolee executed a Nassau County cop during a traffic stop in Queens yesterday, blew away an innocent highway motorist during his getaway, and then tried to kill himself as police closed in, authorities said.
Darrell Fuller, 33, shot himself in the neck and shoulder before he was collared last night for the rampage, which began when he gunned down Emergency Services Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, near a Mobil station on Jamaica Avenue and 241st Street in Bellerose Terrace at 11 a.m., authorities said.
Lopez and his partner, Clarence Hudson, had followed Fuller to the station after spotting him fleeing the scene of a car accident on Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, authorities said.
Lopez, an eight-year vet, got out of his patrol truck and went up to Fuller’s driver’s-side window.
They had a “short exchange”—with Lopez asking him for his driver’s license and registration—when Fuller allegedly sprang from the car and opened fire.
Lopez, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest, was struck at least once in the chest.
Fuller then sped off in his Honda, his parents’ car. It had at least two flat tires, presumably from the hit-run, sources said.
Hudson stayed at the scene to try to save his fallen comrade. Lopez was rushed to North Shore-LIJ Hospital in New Hyde Park, where he was pronounced dead. He had just attended Monday’s funeral of a fellow Nassau cop fatally hit by a car on the Long Island Expressway last week.
“[Lopez’s] murderer should hear the screams of his mother and understand what he did today,” said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.
After allegedly gunning down Lopez, Fuller drove onto the Cross Island Parkway. He went two miles, then ditched his crippled Honda in traffic and attacked a motorist who had pulled over to talk on his cellphone.
Fuller dragged grandfather Raymond Facey from his Toyota Camry and put a bullet in his head as horrified drivers looked on, authorities said.
Facey, 52, a father of four who went by “Brian,” had been talking to one of his adult twin daughters at the time, his family said.
“She heard him say, ‘Who’s chasing you?’ Then she heard him make a frightened, ‘Ahh,’ ” said his stricken brother-in-law, Joslyn Cameron, 53, of Brooklyn.
“They were discussing getting cheap plane tickets to Jamaica for Christmas. [His] mother is celebrating her 80th birthday there.”
Fuller left Facey’s body splayed out on the busy parkway, officials said. The killer then drove the Toyota to 114th Road and 223rd Street in Queens Village, where he ditched it and fled on foot, authorities said.
An off-duty NYPD cop saw Fuller on the street but was unarmed and called for backup that was too slow to arrive, law-enforcement sources said.
Cops finally caught up with Fuller near 173rd Street and 111th Avenue in Jamaica at 6:30 p.m. in a red, parked minivan that had been reported stolen last week, sources said. He had shot himself in his leg and shoulder, they said.
It’s unclear at what point he shot himself while fleeing; police have yet to recover the gun, sources said.
Witnesses said they saw the perp lying lying half out the door.
“We saw an undercover cop get out of his car yelling, ‘Get out of the car!’ ” said Michael Ashby, 16.
Fuller was arrested and taken to Jamaica Hospital in “guarded” condition, with charges pending.
Sources said Fuller had just left a doctor’s office after receiving dialysis because of a bad kidney when he first got into the hit-run.
While cops were looking for him after the shooting, Fuller stopped to play hoops at a court on Merrick Boulevard in St. Albans, said a cousin, Lashonda Jones.
Mangano called Lopez “a true hero—a very decorated police officer” with more than 10 citations.
He was even a hero to his neighbors.
Originally from Queens, Lopez moved to Babylon, LI, four years ago and made it a point to greet all newcomers to the area, they said.
Colleen Donovan said Lopez brought her a pie when she moved in last year.
“He couldn’t have been any nicer,” she said. “It’s just awful.”
He had recently bought a boat he called Saltshaker and was just beginning to enjoy taking it out, neighbors and colleagues said.
“His mother was so proud of him,” said her Queens neighbor Grace De Suarez, 43. “At first, his mother wasn’t too happy to hear he wanted to be a cop, but she accepted it and supported him.
“She worried, but she never imagined his life would be cut short so soon and so sudden.”
Lopez is the second Nassau County cop killed in the line of duty in as many weeks. Officer Joseph Olivieri, 43, was fatally struck by a passing SUV while rushing to the aid of a driver who’d been in a crash near Exit 35 on the LIE.
Lopez’s neighbor Mike Cullen, 51, said the cop knew Olivieri and mourned at his funeral.
“We talked about Olivieri’s death on Saturday and what a loss it was,” Cullen said.
“And a few days later, we lose him. It’s just tragic.”
Fuller previously served five years for attempted murder, according to court records.
He was busted on Oct. 3, 2004, after pointing a handgun at the victim’s head, then firing three rounds, striking the victim in the back and buttocks. He got out in 2009 on a conditional release, then busted again, this time for possession and sale of drug.
But he did just nine months on a sentence that should have put him behind bars until 2015, officials griped. He was paroled in May 2011. “One can only wonder how an animal like this was roaming the streets with a rap sheet like this,” Mangano seethed.
Nassau County PBA President James Carver said, “We’re going to be asking for an investigation for the parole board.”
The slain cop’s partner, Hudson, “did the best he could,” said his ex-wife, Maryann.
“If anybody could have saved him, it would be him,” she said.
Thanks for the link to the NY Post article about Darrell Fuller. According to the story, Fuller:
- Left a dialysis clinic where he was being treated for kidney failure.
- Got involved in an auto accident and then fled the scene.
- Killed the police officer who stopped him.
- Ditched his crippled car and then killed an innocent motorist so he could steal his vehicle.
- Stopped for a game of basketball.
- Shot himself twice, not fatally, when the cops finally closed in.
We also learn that Fuller has previous convictions for attempted murder and drug crimes, but served only nine months of a five year sentence.
Lots of good stuff here, but what interests me is the author’s use of the word “deranged,” which my dictionary gives as a synonym for “insane.” Clearly Fuller was not insane. He was many things—stupid, thuggish, murderous, violent, criminal—but he wasn’t insane, and there is no history given of any treatment or confinement for a mental disorder. What Fuller does have is a history of violent criminal behavior, unfortunately, rather leniently dealt with. The reporter seems to be trying to exculpate Fuller’s horrible actions by implying they were due, at least in part, to some undefined mental condition. Clearly the reporter would like us to believe that no rational individual could commit such random, terrible crimes—it must be due to some sort of derangement. In fact, this sort of behavior is entirely consistent with Fuller’s past actions. To the liberal mind, hideous crimes, especially when committed by members of pet minority groups, are never called what they really are. They are “senseless tragedies” or “random acts of violence,” or the criminals, as in this case, are “deranged.”
Ed H. writes:
Henry S. writes: