Two men, including Nassau County police officer Arthur Lopez, were shot and killed Tuesday morning by a suspect in Bellerose Terrace.
The suspect in the shootings, 33-year-old Darrell Fuller, of St. Albans, was arrested Tuesday evening in Jamaica. Fuller was charged with two counts of first-degree murder along with several other charges.
According to Nassau Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki, officers pursued a vehicle onto the Cross Island Parkway and surrounding streets. It was on 241st Street where they stopped the vehicle.
After a short verbal exchange, police said the suspect exited his car and fired a single shot, striking Lopez in his chest. Police said it appeared Lopez was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.
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Lopez's partner quickly rendered first aid in the street as the suspect returned to his car and fled southbound on the Cross Island, police said.
A short time later, the suspect exited his car on the Cross Island. A car driven by 52-year-old Raymond Facey, of Queens, was pulled over on the shoulder of the parkway while Facey was on his cell phone. The suspect allegedly opened the door and fatally shot Facey in the head, then stole his vehicle.
The suspect eventually bailed out of the second vehicle further down the Cross Island and fled on foot, police said.
As a result of the shooting, Newsday [paid link] has reported that all on-duty officers, not just those in uniform, are now required to wear soft body armor.
Uniformed cops, like Lopez, have been required to wear bullet-resistant vests under a rule imposed in August 2011, but not all officers do. The policy now extends to the whole force. In the past, nonuniformed officers, such as detectives and plainclothes officers, had to only have the vests available.
A memorial fund for Lopez has been established by the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association.
Islanders to Relocate to Brooklyn
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, flanked by the mayor of New York City and other dignitaries, announced Wednesday that the team would relocate to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn following the 2014-15 season, when the Isles' lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires.
Elected officials who've had a hand in prior planning attempts for a new arena at the Nassau Coliseum expressed disappointment over the NHL team's announcement to leave the county.
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County Executive Ed Mangano said Wednesday that he will announce the selection of an economic development team who will serve as a catalyst in redeveloping the Hub into a "vibrant destination and job creation center."
"I believe the depth and experience of our team will allow us to reinvent this strategic acreage quickly," Mangano said, "allowing the economic benefits from Mitchel Field and the Hub to improve the quality of life of every Nassau County resident.”
Nassau Credit Rating Downgraded Again
Moody's Investors Services has downgraded Nassau County's credit rating for the second time since County Executive Mangano took officer.
According to a release, Moody's has has downgraded the rating on Nassau's $1.4 billion in outstanding general obligation debt from A1 to A2 and revised the outlook to stable from negative.
"The downgrade to A2 reflects further weakening of the county's financial position in fiscal 2011 and the expectation that fund balance will continue to decline in fiscal 2012," the release reads. "The rating also incorporates the county's significantly reduced liquidity, weak governance practices, and significant exposure to variable rate debt and interest rate swaps."
Nassau Correction Officers Receive Life Saving Award
Nassau County Sheriff’s Correction Officers Ryan Apicella and Anthony Grimaldi were jointly presented with the American Correctional Officers Life Saving Award.
The award was presented recently by the national organization at its 2012 Fall Conference and Medal of Honor Banquet and Awards Ceremony at which correctional officers, who have risen “above and beyond the call of duty" to perform their jobs selflessly and honorably, are recognized by their peers in the profession.
Click here to read why the officers were honored.
Mangano, Dale Urge Halloween Safety for Trick-or-Treaters
As Nassau children gear up for Halloween, County Executive Mangano and Police Commissioner Thomas V. Dale are advising parents, drivers and trick-or-treaters to take some basic precautions to ensure they have a safe holiday.
As the increase in pedestrian traffic may cause distractions, County Executive Mangano and Commissioner Dale urged drivers to be on alert, to proceed slowly through local streets and make sure they obey all traffic signs and signals.
Parents with small children and teens walking door-to-door are advised to travel up one side of the street and down the other, making sure to cross at the corner or crosswalk.
Trick-or-Treating in groups in well-lit neighborhoods will increase visibility and walking on the sidewalk, rather than cutting across yards or driveways, will mean less chance of stumbling and falling.
Mangano and Dale recommend costumes that are brightly colored and can be more easily seen as well as shoes that fit properly. Masks that obstruct vision should be avoided as well as costumes that drag on the ground. Always carry a flashlight at night. Wearing a watch that can be read in the dark is helpful and older children, who are not being escorted by an adult, should carry a cell phone along with some form of identification.
The Nassau County Police Department will be utilizing marked and unmarked patrol vehicles to deter malicious property damage and other potential unlawful incidents.