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NYPD officer Jonathan Diller shot and killed during traffic stop in Queens

NYPD mourning Officer Jonathan Diller after deadly traffic stop in Queens
NYPD mourning Officer Jonathan Diller after deadly traffic stop in Queens 02:49

NEW YORK — An NYPD officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday in Far Rockaway, Queens. The officer, identified as three-year veteran Jonathan Diller, was shot in the torso, underneath his bullet-resistant vest, during a traffic stop and was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he later died. 

Two suspects were taken into custody. Investigators said the driver of the car has 14 prior arrests, and the shooter has four priors. 

NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller killed in the line of duty in Queens 02:49

Mayor Eric Adams announced the officer's death during a news conference Monday evening.

"We lost Jonathan tonight and Stephanie, his wife, speaking with her is extremely impactful. It brought me back at the beginning of my term as mayor speaking with the family members of officers Rivera and Mora, feeling that intense pain, hoping it's not true," Adams said. "It's because of a senseless act of violence that we witness a person had a total disregard for the safety of this city. It is the good guys against the bad guys and these bad guys are violent. They carry guns and the symbol of our public safety, which is police uniform, they have a total disregard for."

Police Commissioner Edward Caban said Officer Diller, 31, "was shot doing the job we asked him to do. He put himself in harm's way. He went toward the danger, all to keep the people we serve safe and to protect his fellow New Yorkers. Make no mistake, we should not be here right now. We should never be here praying for the life of an NYPD officer, but we are and this is why."

Police said the officers, who were members of the department's Critical Response Team, conducted the traffic stop at 1919 Mott Ave., near Beach 20th Street, at around 5:48 p.m. As they approached the vehicle, one of the suspects displayed a gun and pointed it at the officers. Shots were fired. The officer's partner returned fire at the armed suspect, striking him. That suspect was also taken to Jamaica Hospital and was said to be in stable condition.

"He was given a lawful order numerous times to step out of the car. He refused. When the officer took him out of the car, instead of stepping out of the car, he shot our officer," NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said.

NYPD holds news conference following line of duty death of officer in Queens 10:52

Deon Peters, who works in the area, described a chaotic scene.

"I heard, 'pop.' Then I heard it again and I knew it was gunshots. I came outside, I saw two guys on the floor. He was moving. He was saying, 'I'm hit. I'm hit,' giving location and all that," Peters said of Diller. "They were running. People were scattering all over because they didn't know what was going on. It was kind of confusing." 

Officer Jonathan Diller was responsible for getting countless criminals off the streets 02:41

Kenny said one of the suspects, the driver of the car that was stopped by the officers, did have a gun arrest back in April 2023.

"Less than a year, a gun charge, back on the street," Adams said. "This is what you call not a crime problem (but) a recidivist problem. Same bad people doing bad things to good people. Less than a year, he's back on the streets with another gun."

Dignified transfer held for fallen NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller 09:10

A dignified transfer of Diller was arranged from Jamaica Hospital to the Medical Examiner's Officer, as his heartbroken brothers in blue gathered, all while the fallen officer's loved ones tried to come to grips with the tragedy.

"This family upstairs, young wife who's devastated. These police officers who packed the halls just lost a brother. Our hero police officer confronted this dangerous individual knowing he was putting himself at risk, knowing he had a family waiting for him at home, but he did it to protect the people of this city," a Police Benevolent Association official said.

The NYPD said Diller, who was married with a child, made more than 70 arrests during his time on the force. It will be a very difficult week ahead, as the NYPD gets ready to say farewell to one of its finest.

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