Two teenagers were charged Wednesday hours after the shooting of a 22-year-old off-duty cop during an apparent robbery attempt in Queens on Tuesday night — hours before the NYPD was set to bid farewell to a slain officer in Manhattan.
The young officer continues to recover from the injuries he received in the shooting. Two other NYPD officers narrowly escaped grave injury when one of the suspects fired at shot at them as they attempted to apprehend the pair.
Police identified the shooter as 19-year-old Chad Collie of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Edgemere; he faces four counts of second-degree attempted murder, along with additional charges of robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
Also booked was Collie’s alleged cohort, 18-year-old Jayare Robinson of Beach Channel Drive in Arverne, who faces a single robbery charge.
Tuesday’s shooting — the sixth such incident involving a member of New York’s Finest this year — happened on the eve of the funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Police Officer Wilbert Mora, who was fatally shot along with his partner, Police Officer Jason Rivera, while responding to a Harlem domestic dispute on Jan. 21. (Both slain officers were posthumously promoted to first-grade detectives.)
“We’re fortunate this time that our officer’s injuries are not life-threatening,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell remarked during a press conference Wednesday morning at Jamaica Hospital, where the officer is recovering. “This young man was on his way to work, on his way to protect New Yorkers from criminals like the two who were arrested today.”
Chief of Department Kenneth Corey outlined the preliminary details regarding Tuesday’s shooting, which occurred at about 10:18 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the corner of Beach Channel Drive and Beach 62nd Street in Arverne.
The off-duty officer was behind the wheel of his vehicle, stopped at a red light, when the two suspects allegedly approached on foot. One of the suspects then rapped on the driver’s side window with a gun, Corey said.
“The officer then got out of the car, and one of the two males fired shots, striking him in the shoulder,” the chief said. The wounded officer returned fire, but did not strike anyone, and the two perpetrators fled the scene on foot.
Uniformed officers from the 100th Precinct, who were in the area and heard the shots, rushed to the off-duty officer’s aid, and then broadcast a description of the suspects to their colleagues, Corey said. Those officers then took the injured cop into their vehicle and rushed him to Jamaica Hospital for treatment.
Moments later, members of the precinct’s Public Safety Team spotted two men, identified as Collie and Robinson, fitting the description three blocks away, at the corner of Beach 59th Street and Beach Channel Drive. When the cops attempted to stop them, Corey noted, one of the suspects fired a shot, which struck the bumper of their unmarked vehicle.
“The officers exercised great restraint and did not return fire,” Corey stressed. “These officers were being fired on and did not shoot back. Instead, they chased the suspects on foot,” and apprehended them a short distance away, without further incident.
Police recovered the gun allegedly used to shoot the off-duty officer.
While Mayor Eric Adams expressed relief that the injured officer will recover, he stressed that the two perpetrators in this case exhibited a clear disregard for human life through their actions.
“We need to really be clear on what happened today because it speaks volumes of what we have been stating over and over again,” Adams said. “When these two individuals shot at a [driver], he didn’t shoot at a police officer, he shot at a civilian. And then to find out that they shot at police officers, they sent a message that they had no regard of who they were trying to kill. … They don’t care, and to see something like this happen repeatedly in our city is unacceptable.”
Both Adams and Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch again urged the city and those elected officials to unite behind the administration’s efforts to stop gun violence, and called out those who remain critical of the NYPD’s efforts.
“We’re talking about NYPD officers getting shot, men and women who have families at home, people who live in our neighborhoods,” Lynch said. “And there’s still folks still standing up trying to demonize our officers. We’re all standing here saying it’s time for action. Those elected officials that still don’t get it, that still don’t see the blood on the streets, well, it’s time for them to step aside. Wait till tomorrow to get the headline.”