Police try to track wannabe cop killer

Officers search for bullet casings at the crime scene where a man shot at two police officers on Jackson Heights. AP Photo/John Minchillo
TimesLedger Newspapers

The group Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the disguised man who shot at two officers on a Jackson Heights street earlier this month, police said.

The reward is customary practice for COP SHOT, a citizens group that works with the NYPD to provide an incentive to those who assist in the capture of people who kill, wound or attempt to wound the police. COP SHOT can be reached at 1-800-COP-SHOT.

The attack, which police are classifying as an attempted murder, occurred Dec. 2 after a passerby alerted two officers doing foot patrol near 76th Street and Roosevelt Avenue to a suspicious man on 37th Road and 76th Street, about one street away, authorities said.

Police described the man later as looking about 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and with a thin build. He was wearing a black trench coat, a fake beard, a hat and dark glasses, police said.

When the officers approached the man and asked him for identification, he pulled a black revolver out, police said. The man shot twice in the officers’ direction, but did not hit or injure them, authorities said. Police chased the man southbound down 77th Street, but were unable to catch him, authorities said. They did, however, find the false beard, hat and glasses, police said.

In addition to calling COP SHOT for the reward, individuals can also send tips to NYPD’s Crime Stoppers. The program can be reached through its hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, its website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or through texting 274637 and then entering TIP577.

On the day of the shooting, City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) released a long statement in which he said the area had become a magnet for criminal activity due to a lack of basic services. He said Roosevelt Avenue between 69th and 114th streets needs additional lighting under the elevated No. 7 train, which also needs a paint job.

He said the area also needs more sanitation services, street vendor regulation and economic development, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should rent out its vacant storefronts.

“Roosevelt Avenue in many ways is the ‘World’s Main Street,’ but the failure of the MTA and city agencies has made it into a gutter for gangs and a back-alley of blight,” Dromm said.

The councilman said five people were shot waiting for a bus on 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in 2008, not far from the sight of the shooting this month.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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