A Jamaica man could face a lifetime behind bars after being found guilty Thursday of shooting a police officer nearly three years ago, prosecutors announced.
Jurors convicted John F. Thomas, 27, of 109th Avenue, of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer, assault on a police officer, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault. Justice Gregory Lasak, who presided over the trial, ordered Thomas to return to court on July 29 for sentencing.
The defendant faces up to 40 years to life in prison, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
According to authorities, Thomas shot Sgt. Craig Bier in the vicinity of 107th Avenue and Union Hall Street in Jamaica at 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2012. Bier, who was patrolling as part of an anti-gang unit, had approached Thomas seconds earlier.
After Bier displayed his shield and identified himself as an officer, Thomas began to run, and the officer pursued him. Upon being blocked by a fence, authorities said, Thomas pulled out a firearm and shot the officer once in each leg.
“This was a senseless, violent act and once again illustrates how dangerous police work is,” Brown said in a statement. “The defendant has shown he has no regard for authority and is a menace to society. He will be locked behind bars for a very long time.”