2016-11-16 / Front Page

35-Years For Gang Member Who Shot At Cops

By Liz Goff
A Queens gang member who opened fire on two Elmhurst police officers in 2014 will be spending the next 35 years behind bars, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

A Queens jury last month convicted “Any Body Killers” street gang member Christian Mosquera, 22, of attempted murder, assault and weapons possession charges in connection with the June 21, 2014 attack on the two police officers, Brown said.

Prosecutors said the police officers were on routine patrol on the night of June 21, 2014 when they heard gunfire coming from a nearby intersection.

The cops raced to the intersection of Lamont Avenue and 94th Street, where they saw Mosquera holding a weapon near another man who had been struck by gunfire, prosecutors said. The officers shouted at Mosquera to drop the weapon, but instead of complying he turned and fired at the cops.

The cops returned fire, but Mosquera managed to escape uninjured, prosecutors said. He was arrested one week later in Union City, New Jersey.

Mosquera’s attorney argued that the gunfire occurred “in the dark,” and his client was unaware he was shooting at the officers.

The jury acquitted Mosquera of multiple counts of a high charge of attempted murder of a police officer, which carries a life sentence, Brown said.

“The jury believed the lack of light provided reasonable doubt,” a police source said. “They bought the story that this guy didn’t know he was shooting at the police.

“He fired first at a rival gang member and he knew who he was,” the source said. “But he lost his ability to see in the dark when he realized he shot at the cops.”

Police recovered a .22-caliber pistol from Mosquera at the time of his arrest, authorities said. Ballistics tests showed the gun was the same weapon Mosquera used in the Corona gunfire.

“The actions of this defendant are a prime example of how dangerous police work in this city can be,” Brown said. “Every day, police officers risk their lives protecting the citizens of and the visitors to New York City.

“Two officers heard gunshots while on patrol and rushed to the scene<” Brown continued. “They spotted the defendant with a gun and ordered him to drop the weapon, but instead of complying with the command he turned the firearm toward the police and fired,” Brown said. “Fortunately, neither officer was (hit.) Under the circumstances, the sentence imposed by the court is more than warranted.”




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