RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island man has been convicted in the shooting of a plainclothes police officer last year.
Sheldon Leftenant, 23, was found guilty of attempted aggravated murder and related charges in the shooting of Suffolk County Police Officer Mark Collins.
Authorities said Leftenant ran from a car during a traffic stop in Huntington Station last March. As Collins gave chase on foot, prosecutors said Leftenant fired four shots, two of which hit Collins in the hip and neck.
Authorities said Leftenant was apprehended about an hour after the shooting.
Collins nearly died from the gunshot wound to his neck. He has since recovered and returned to work.
The defense had claimed it was not Leftenant who shot the officer, and that this was a case of mistaken identity.
Immediately following the conviction Tuesday night, Leftenant’s sister said outside the courtroom that the next officer shot wouldn’t survive, Newsday reported.
The mother of Leftenant’s child also cried and suffered an anxiety attack before passing out in the courtroom.
Leftenant now faces 40 years to life in prison at his March 11 sentencing.
Collins declined to comment on the verdict.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)