2016-04-06 / Front Page

Astoria Man Indicted In Fatal Rampage

By Liz Goff

A 23-year-old man who went on a killing rampage in Astoria on March 6 was indicted last week on murder and assault charges, authorities said.
James Dillon, 23, of Astoria, is facing life in prison in an indictment that charges him with multiple counts including first-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault, arson, criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Dillon, who has a lengthy criminal history and a history of mental illness, went on a rampage on March 6, first slashing a woman at about 11:20 a.m., outside 25-62 36th Street in Astoria. The woman identified her attacker to police, who were able to post a photo of Dillon on social media.
Dillon struck again at about 1:30 p.m. on March 6, when he slashed a male Hispanic outside 84-30 Roosevelt Avenue, authorities said. The victim positively identified Dillon as his attacker.
Dillon’s rage turned fatal a short while later, when he became enraged inside a liquor store at 39-18 Astoria Boulevard in Astoria.
Dillon turned his rage on a homeless man who was talking with the storeowner, authorities said. When the man tried to escort Dillon from the store, he poured acetate on the homeless man and set him on fire, authorities said. Dillon then fatally stabbed the storeowner in the neck and set fire to another man – a neighbor who heard the ruckus inside the liquor store and tried to intervene.
Dillon attempted to break into an apartment at 30-65 42nd Street just after 5 p.m. on March 6, authorities said. While cops ere scouring the area for Dillon, he managed to slip away and break into a marked NYPD vehicle parked on 35th Street and 28th Avenue.
The cops gave chase and followed Dillon to the backyard of his family home, where he attempted but failed to light several homemade Molotov cocktails, authorities said.
An Inspector and Lieutenant assigned to the NYPD Critical Response Team confronted Dillon in the yard and suffered burns when Dillon splashed them with a liquid from one of the Molotov cocktails, authorities said.
The cops opened fire when Dillon lunged at them with a bloodstained knife, police said. Cops responding to calls for help at th4 scene fired as well, striking Dillon a total of seven times. Dillon was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center in critical condition. He was charged in a bedside arraignment with a series of crimes.
Dillon appeared at his indictment at Queens Supreme Court on March 30 and is due back in court in May.

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