Jury Finds Cop Shooter Guilty
A Queens jury last week convicted an illegal immigrant who shot two police officers and tried to shoot a third officer inside a Queensbridge subway station three years ago.
Raul Nunez, 35, a native of the Dominican Republic, was found guilty of two counts of attempted manslaughter, one count of assault and criminal possession of a weapon for an attack that forced one officer to retire at age 28 due to the severity of his injuries.
Trial testimony revealed that officers spotted Nunez at about 5:10 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2008 entering a turnstile at the 21st Street and 41st Avenue station in Long Island City using a student MetroCard.
NYPD Officers Jason Maass and Shane Farina stopped Nunez on the station platform and asked to see the MetroCard and his identification. When Nunez replied that he did not have identification, the officers cuffed his left wrist, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. Before the cops could cuff his right wrist, Nunez fought back and his actions forced Nunez and the two officers to tumble to the platform, where Nunez grabbed Maass’ 9mm handgun and shot both officers.
One round struck Farina in the lungs and intestine, while Maass took one round in his lower back, Brown said. Nunez bolted after the shootings, running up an escalator. When he reached the station’s main level, Nunez fired at NYPD Lieutenant Gary Abrahail, Brown said. The shot missed Abrahail, who returned fire, striking Nunez three times.
Farina and Maaas survived their injuries, but Maas was so severely injured that he was forced to retire from the NYPD at age 28.
Nunez told police after his arrest that he resisted because he was in the U.S. illegally and he feared he would be deported to his native Dominican Republic.
“This case underscores, once again, the real dangers that our police officers face each day in the performance of their duty,” Brown declared. “What could be described as a routine stopping of a suspected fare beater shows that there is nothing routine in police work,” Brown said.
“This defendant’s actions represent a total disregard for the law, and he deserves the maximum sentence allowed by law.”
Law enforcement sources said Nunez now has no reason to fear he will be forced to leave the U.S. He faces more than 50 years in a New York state prison when he is sentenced on April 7.