A joint search between Nassau County and New York City police has commenced for a lone suspect who shot and killed two men — including an eight-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department — Tuesday morning near the Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose Terrace.
The slain officer, 29-year-old Arthur Lopez of Babylon Village, was described by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano as a "true hero" Tuesday evening at a press conference in Mineola.
"We can best honor him by hunting down this murderer," Mangano said. "I ask for everyone’s help in doing so. Let’s catch this murderer."
Police officials said at approximately 11 a.m., Lopez and his partner were on patrol in an Emergency Services Unit vehicle on Northern Boulevard near the Queens border when Lopez believed that he saw a car accident with a silver-colored Honda leaving the scene.
According to Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki, officers pursued the vehicle onto the Cross Island Parkway and surrounding streets. It was on 241st Street where they stopped the vehicle.
After a short verbal exchange, police said the suspect exited his car and fired a single shot, striking Lopez in his chest. Police said it appeared Lopez was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.
Lopez's partner quickly rendered first aid in the street as the suspect returned to his car and fled southbound on the Cross Island, police said.
A short time later, the suspect exited his car and stopped a second vehicle on the Cross Island, police said. The suspect fatally shot the driver of the second vehicle in the head, got into the car and continued southbound.
The suspect eventually bailed out of the second vehicle further down the Cross Island and fled on foot, police said.
Police have identified the suspect as 33-year-old Darrell Fuller.
"This tragedy is yet another sobering reminder of the risks our brave police officers face every day to keep our communities safe," offered Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "We will prosecute the killer who committed this despicable crime, and make no mistake, justice will be done.”
This story was updated at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 23.