NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The man accused of shooting an NYPD officer in the head Saturday was arraigned Sunday, but did not enter a plea.
Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was ordered to be held without bail. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder, assault and weapons offenses, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.
Officer Brian Moore, 25, was recovering from surgery Sunday. He is in critical but stable condition at Jamaica Hospital, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
Web Extra: Blackwell Criminal Complaint
Sources told 1010 WINS Moore is in a medically induced coma. Doctors told CBS2 it could take them a few days to determine the extent of his injuries.
A couple hundred of Moore’s colleagues in blue packed the courtroom Sunday, with cops pouring out into the hallway, Smith reported.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said they are going to be there for every court appearance to make sure that justice is served.
“If you attacked one of us, you’ve attacked all of us,” Lynch said.
Lynch also talked about the suspect’s disturbing nickname, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“He was gunned down by a miscreant who prides himself being called Hellraiser. Well, as this judge just put him behind bars, he can raise hell at Rikers Island. We’ll make sure he never raises hell on the streets of New York City ever again,” Lynch said.
According to investigators, Moore was behind the wheel of his unmarked patrol car with his partner, Erik Jansen, around 6:15 p.m. Saturday in Queens Village. Both were wearing plain clothes and spotted Blackwell walking and adjusting something in his waistband, police said.
“Officer Moore positioned the vehicle behind the suspect and inquired about the suspect’s actions,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “The male immediately removed a firearm from his waistband and turned in the direction of the officers and deliberately fired several times into the vehicle.”
A bullet hit Moore in the head. The officers did not get out of their car or open fire.
Police said both Moore and Jansen had identified themselves as police officers while questioning Blackwell.
— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) May 3, 2015
Moore was immediately rushed into surgery at Jamaica Hospital.
“This is a painful day for all New Yorkers. It is a painful day for all members of the NYPD,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday.
Police swarmed the area of 212th and 104th streets minutes after Blackwell allegedly opened fire and ran off.
Neighbors were startled after hearing the gunshots and nervous watching police look for the suspect.
“I heard the shots, but it was just crazy out there,” one man said. “I seen too many cop cars out here, so I just left the scene. I was right up the block.”
Detectives tracked down Blackwell about 90 minutes after the shooting at a home near the scene, but still haven’t found the weapon.
Blackwell’s court-appointed lawyer said after the arraignment that his client was arrested without a warrant and that “the arrest may be illegal.”
A police spokesman did not immediately return a call requesting comment about the warrant.
Now, the search is on for a key piece of evidence in the case: the weapon. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the gun.
Armed with shovels and rakes, police officers combed through every inch of 212th Street, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.
They searched backyards for the gun used to shoot Moore in the face.
“We have no shell casings, which may indicate it was a revolver,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce.
Boyce said the gunman fired at least two rounds at Moore and his partner.
A woman — would not give her name — told Kozar she lives at the house where Blackwell was arrested.
Immediately after the shooting, she said Blackwell was talking to her on her front yard, acting normal, as if nothing had happened.
She said she didn’t know he’d allegedly shot a cop.
“He was standing outside for an hour and a half before they realized it was him.” she said.
Once they did, police moved for the arrest, Kozar reported.
“We all went inside, and the next thing I know is that I have a SWAT team knocking on my door,” she said.
Blackwell has nine previous arrests on his record, including charges of attempted murder, robbery, weapons possession and assault on two officers, authorities said.
In 2013 he was arrested on attempted grand larceny charges. That same year, he was also charged for assault on a police officer.
If convicted, Blackwell faces 25 years to life in prison. He is due back in court Friday.
“Last night’s shooting once again reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a news release Sunday.
One neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis she recognized Blackwell from his picture.
“I have seen the gentleman in the neighborhood before, so you just never know,” the woman said. “You just never know who’s going to do what.”
“Why would somebody need to shoot somebody like that, with no remorse?” another neighbor told CBS2. “It’s not going to help nobody, man.”
Meanwhile, neighbors in the Long Island town that Moore calls home are shocked.
As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, heartache has spread up and down the quiet Massapequa street — home to many current and former NYPD officers and their families, including Joni Olton, who said she feels so very personally the pain of the shooting of their neighbor.
“Just got to pray,” she said.
Don Crummy lives right next door to Moore’s family home, where a Nassau County police officer now stands guard.
“My son is also a New York City cop, and I don’t know what to say. I feel, I can’t imagine,” Crummy said.
News of the shooting of a young New York City police officer evokes a particularly painful parallel from the past just down the street from Moore’s home, Langford reported.
Officer Edward Byrne, a 22-year-old NYPD officer who was shot and killed in Queens while on duty in 1988, grew up on the same street.
“I grew up here, so my mother babysat the Byrnes. So reliving this is absolutely crazy nowasays, that this could happen again so quickly on the same block,” said neighbor Christine Brady.
Olton, whose daughter went to High School prom with Moore, said her youngest daughter rushed to the hospital to visit him before running in Sunday’s half-marathon on Long Island.
“Last night, she said ‘Brian I’m running it for you,'” Olton said.
Back at the hospital Sunday evening, firefighters delivered meals they cooked themselves in the firehouse for Officer Moore’s family and colleagues, Carlin reported.
“It’s horrible. So the guys in the fire house just wanted to come out and show their support, give them some food and let them know our hearts are with them and we’re praying,” said FDNY Lt. Kevin Roth.
Moore is the fifth NYPD officer shot since December. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu died Dec. 20 after a gunman shot them as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
On Jan. 5, plainclothes officers and Andrew Dossi and Aliro Pellerano were shot responding to a grocery store robbery in the Bronx. Both of those officers survived.
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