BY ALEXA ALTMAN AND MAGGIE HAYES
A Nassau County police officer and a motorist were fatally shot on the Cross Island Parkway in the wake of a cold-blooded ex-con’s rampage.
Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, a tan sedan was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Northern Boulevard in Bayside before taking off down the Cross Island Parkway. Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, was driving an ESU vehicle towards the scene and saw the sedan’s damaged fender. He signaled for the driver to pull over outside a Mobil station at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue. After a quick exchange of words, the driver shot Lopez several times and fled down the Cross Island Parkway. Officer Clarence Hudson, Lopez’s partner, administered CPR and attempted to revive his partner at the scene.
Lopez, a decorated eight-year veteran, was taken to North Shore LIJ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
After abandoning his damaged car, the gunman, now identified as Darrell Fuller, 33, allegedly attempted to carjack Raymond Facey, 52, near Hempstead Avenue, fatally shooting the driver in the process. Fuller then took off on foot. Helicopters circled the area and officers canvassed homes in Queens Village, searching for the perpetrator.
According to published reports, Facey, was speaking on the phone with his daughter at the time of the incident. She allegedly heard her father say “someone’s chasing me.”
A nearby store owner described the scene as “absolutely crazy.”
“When we’re here alone, the store is locked,” said the business owner. “You just don’t know who’s going to come in.”
Ellis Cathey, who lives on the corner of 112th Avenue and Colfax Street in Queens Village, left his house to take out the trash and saw helicopters circling the block and officers with automatic rifles searching the area for Fuller.
“The helicopter got real low, I figured they were looking for somebody,” said Cathey. “I was searching the news channels looking for something that happened, and I saw this guy shot a cop.”
Cathey said that he saw police discover a gray hooded sweatshirt, covered in blood. It was later reported that this sweatshirt belonged to the gunman.
“I’ve lived here since 1996, I’ve never seen anything like this happen. It really can happen anywhere though, I can’t think my neighborhood is immune to this.”
After a multi-hour manhunt, authorities found Fuller at 111th Avenue and 173rd Street in Jamaica and arrested him. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was in “stable but guarded” condition.
In 2004, Fuller was convicted of attempted murder, according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but released in 2009. In 2010, Fuller was arrested for selling crack and served another nine months before being released on parole.
At a press conference earlier in the afternoon, Mangano spoke of Lopez’s bravery and dedication to helping others.
“He was a true hero, a very dedicated police officer of eight years,” said Mangano. “He lost his life to a cold blooded murderer.”
Lopez, who was also a volunteer firefighter in Dix Hills, Long Island, is the second Nassau County officer to be killed in the line of duty in less than a week. On Thursday, October 18, Officer Joseph Olivieri was killed when a vehicle struck him while he was responding to an accident on the Long Island Expressway.
“We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Officer Arthur Lopez, an active member of the Dix Hills Fire Department from 2003 to 2005,” said Chief of Department Richard Granahan. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, friends and fellow Nassau County police officers.”