MINEOLA, NY (PIX11)—The grim-faced County Executive of Nassau, Long Island--Edward Mangano--announced the shooting death of 29-year-old police officer, Arthur Lopez, during a traffic stop in Bellerose Terrace Tuesday morning. Lopez is the second Nassau cop to die in the line of duty in less than a week.
"His murderer should hear the screams of his mother," Mangano said, as police officials revealed Lopez was shot point-blank in the chest. The officer was not wearing a bullet-proof vest.
The Chief of Patrol for the Nassau Police Department--Stephen Skrynecki-revealed the order of events that led to the fatal police shooting.
Skrynecki said Officer Lopez and his police partner, Clarence Hudson, were on patrol in their ESU truck on Northern Boulevard about 11 am Tuesday morning. They noticed a silver Honda with its tires blown out leave the scene of an accident in Queens and head south on the Cross Island Parkway, so they followed the car.
The Honda exited at the Jamaica Avenue West exit, before making a quick left turn onto 241st Street in Bellerose Terrace. That's when the Nassau officers flashed their emergency lights to pull the Honda over.
Chief Skrynecki said Officer Lopez walked over to the Honda and the driver got out. A few words were exchanged--and then Officer Lopez was shot in the chest.
The shooter then hopped back into the Honda and got back on the Cross Island Parkway, heading south. A short time later, he jumped out of the Honda on the parkway, pulled another driver out of his car, shot that driver in the head, and then fled in the second car.
This shooting happened under a pedestrian bridge that leads to Belmont Racetrack.
Fuller--the suspected shooter--then dumped the second car and fled on foot into the Queens Village/Cambria Heights area in Queens.
The NYPD, using heavy weapons and helicopters, assisted the Nassau Police to search for the suspected killer, who was arrested back in 2004 for attempted murder.
Police Commissioner, Thomas Dale, said Officer Lopez was a highly decorated cop who also served as a volunteer fireman in Babylon. He leaves behind his father, Alfonso, his mother and a sister. Lopez--an eight-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Services Unit in Bellmore--would have turned 30 years old next week.
Just yesterday, the Nassau Police Department buried 43-year-old Officer, Joseph Olivieri, who was hit by a car as he investigated a drunk driving accident on the Long Island Expressways last Thursday.