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After a 7-1/2-hour manhunt along the Queens/Nassau border Tuesday, police said they arrested a double murder suspect in St. Albans Tuesday night who earlier in the day gunned down a Nassau County cop and moments later killed an innocent motorist in a carjacking, according to Nassau and Queens law enforcement officials.
A small army of law enforcement officials from both counties spent the day searching for the gunman until about 6:30 p.m. when NYPD officers responded to a 911 call of gunshots near 173rd Street and found 33-year-old Darrell Fuller sitting inside a car with what Steven Skrynecki, chief of Nassau County’s police department, said “appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot.”
A source close to the investigation said Fuller, who had a long rap sheet, died at Jamaica Hospital later in the night, but neither the Nassau County police nor the NYPD would confirm the report.
The deadly day started around 11 a.m. when Nassau County Officer Arthur Lopez and his partner Clarence Hudson were on patrol on Northern Boulevard near the Cross Island Parkway and spotted a silver Honda they suspected of having been involved in an auto accident because it was driving on its rims, authorities said.
Skrynecki said Fuller had been released from a hospital in Queens earlier in the day.
The two officers followed the car down the parkway to the Jamaica Avenue exit and pulled it over on 241st Street between a Mobil station and the parkway on-ramp. Lopez, a highly decorated, 8-year veteran who would have turned 30 next week, approached the Honda and briefly exchanged words with Fuller, police said.
Fuller, who did six years in prison beginning in 2005 on an attempted murder conviction, then allegedly shot Lopez once in the chest and sped off down the Cross Island Parkway while the officer’s partner called for help, police said.
“He was shot at this time and it appears at this time he was not wearing a bullet-proof vest,” Skrynecki said.
EMTs arrived on the scene and took Lopez to North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA, authorities said.
Just moments later, police said, Fuller pulled 52-year-old Raymond Facey from Jamaica out of his car about a quarter of a mile down the parkway and shot him in cold blood, making off with the car before exiting the parkway and ditching the car alongside the road in Queens Village.
Police in riot gear, in helicopters, mounted on horses and with canine units conducted a massive manhunt in the area that by mid-day had turned up a gray sweatshirt that officials said belonged to suspected double-murderer.
While police searched in Queens, officials gathered for a news conference inside the Nassau police headquarters alongside a photo of the fallen officer.
“This murderer should hear the screams of [Lopez’s] mother to understand what he did today,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.
This was the second Nassau County officer killed in the line of duty in the past week.
Last Thursday, Officer Joseph Olivieri was struck and killed by a passing vehicle as he responded to an accident on the Long Island Expressway in North Hills.
In Bellerose, Lopez’s Nassau County Emergency Services Unit vehicle sat next to the closed down Cross Island Parkway as police searched for clues.
Bob Rubin, who works in a kitchen and bath supply store across the street from the shooting, said he had not heard any gunshots, but he looked up to see a paramedic performing CPR on the fallen officer, followed moments later by a large number of police vehicles screaming down the street.
“It was pandemonium. Cars were coming from all over at break neck speed,” he said. “It’s terrible when a cop gets killed. It’s terrible when anyone gets killed. But that’s their job and they understand the dangers of it.”
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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