A young Nassau County cop is dead, allegedly gunned down after pulling over a man involved in a hit-and-run accident. The shooter is accused of then carjacking and killing an innocent motorist before leading the police on a door-to-door manhunt, which ended after the assailant tried to commit suicide.
Police Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, a member of the county’s Emergency Service Unit, tried to pull over Darrell Fuller, 33, after he got into an accident on Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, LI at around 10:45 a.m., sources said. He allegedly fled the scene and got onto the Cross Island Parkway. At around 11 a.m. Fuller stopped near a Mobil gas station on Jamaica Avenue, where he was approached by Lopez.
The cop asked for Fuller’s driver’s license and registration, and after a short exchange of words, the assailant sprang from the car and opened fire, according to published reports. Lopez was struck in the chest and transported to North Shore University Hospital in New Hyde Park, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Fuller took off south on the Cross Island Parkway to Hempstead Avenue, where he carjacked Raymond Facey at around 11:05 a.m., shot him in the head and fled in his car. Facey died on the highway. His body was discovered in the center lane of the southbound side.
An FDNY source could not explain how the victim ended up there because it is unclear whether traffic was slow enough for Fuller to carjack Facey, 52, of Jamaica while the two were driving or whether he got into the victim’s car and shot him before pushing him out onto the highway.
Published reports said that Facey had pulled over to the side of the road to talk to his daughter on his cell phone when he was confronted by Fuller.
“I cannot imagine the grief being endured today by the Lopez and Facey families,” City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) said in a prepared statement. “The entire Queens community mourns with them, and celebrates the lives of two wonderful men, whose families will cherish their memories forever. Queens is a law-abiding place, and horrific acts of violence like this degrade and diminish everyone.”
Facey’s car was found abandoned at 113th Drive and 223rd Street in Cambria Heights a short time later. A number of schools, including PS 295, which is two blocks from where Lopez died, were on lockdown. A house on 113th Avenue and Colfax Avenue was raided. Police knocked on at least a dozen doors in Queens Village and Cambria Heights as they tried to apprehend Fuller, a police source said.
Fuller was found around 6:30 p.m. in a car in front of 173-06 111 Ave. in St. Albans after someone called 911 reporting gunshots. Fuller allegedly shot himself twice — once in the neck and once in the leg — reportedly in an attempt to commit suicide. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was arrested.
Fuller reportedly did five years for attempted murder and was out on parole on a subsequent drug conviction when he allegedly shot the two men.
Lopez, an eight-year veteran on the force, will not soon be forgotten. There is a memorial page honoring him on Facebook, which had 19,623 likes as of Wednesday morning. A post quoted Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, calling Lopez “an exemplary officer, a real heroic officer.”