Thousands of police officers gathered yesterday to mourn the loss of slain Nassau County police Officer Arthur Lopez, who was gunned down last Tuesday by a “violent ex-con” on the Queens-Nassau border.
Lopez was executed in cold-blood Tuesday while attempting to conduct a traffic stop after witnessing a motor vehicle accident and pursuing a fleeing vehicle. When the driver of the vehicle finally stopped, he allegedly shot the 29-year-old Emergency Service Officer through the chest, before the young officer could even ask for his license. The driver then fled, carjacking a motorist on the Cross Island Parkway and shooting the victim in the head, killing him instantly.
Police officers from multiple agencies conducted a manhunt for the accused double-murderer, canvassing both counties for nearly 8 hours, before NYPD officers responded to a shots fired call in Springfield Gardens, Queens.
When officers responded, they found Darrell Fuller, 33, in a van with what appeared to be “self inflicted gunshot wounds,” County Executive Ed Mangano said during a press conference announcing Fuller’s capture. Prosecutors later said the gunshot wounds were Fuller’s carefully crafted attempt to further evade capture and appear as a kidnapping victim.
Fuller was arraigned Thursday at Nassau First District Court in Hempstead, after spending one day at Jamaica Hospital to be treated for the gunshots he allegedly inflicted upon himself.
Hundreds of officers attended Fuller’s arraignment, as he stood silent, donning a yellow “hospital-style” gown, wearing leg shackles, his arms cuffed to his wrist with the handcuffs of the police officer he allegedly gunned down.
District Attorney Bureau Chief Mitchell Benson recounted Fuller’s “heinous acts” to Judge Christopher Quinn, saying that Fuller faces the most severe penalty permitted by law, life imprisonment without parole and he murdered innocent people in an attempt to avoid capture.
Benson detailed Fuller’s actions, including the murder of Brooklyn resident Raymond Facey, who had pulled his car over on the Cross Island Parkway to speak with his daughter, before Fuller approached his car and executed him with a single bullet shot to the head.
Facey’s family sat in the first row of the courtroom and didn’t say a word as they starred down the man who allegedly killed the 52-year-old father and husband.
Judge Christopher Quinn remanded Fuller into custody. Fuller’s Legal Aid attorney did not enter a plea to two count of First Degree Murder, but he said his client intended of appearing before the grand jury.
After his arraignment, Fuller was transferred to the custody of the New York City Department of Corrections, where he is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, city corrections officials said.
Lopez’s funeral included a full ceremonial line of duty death service, with officers from dozens of agencies in attendance. Mr. Facey’s family also atended services for Officer Lopez. Lopez was buried in his dress uniform. “May God bless our special hero Arthur Lopez,” Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said during the service.
Fuller is expected to appear in Nassau County Court on Monday.