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Queens shootout suspect arrested in attempted murder of off-duty NYPD lieutenant

Cristian Cruz, 19, was escorted out of the 108 Precinct in Long Island City to court for his alleged involvement in a shootout that critically injured an off-duty officer.
Photo by Dean Moses

Officers have cuffed the suspect wanted for critically injuring an off-duty NYPD lieutenant during a Queens shootout on Dec. 16. 

Nineteen-year-old Cristian Cruz was escorted out of the 108th Precinct in Long Island City Saturday morning to meet his fate at the hands of a judge, according to police sources.

The teen was arrested Friday after his alleged involvement in a deadly gunfight at Northern Boulevard and 57th Street in Woodside that left one officer seriously injured and another suspect dead; both had been taken to Elmhurst Hospital.

Police believe the incident occurred when three men in ski masks attempted to rob the off-duty lieutenant as he left a nightclub, ending with a firefight.    

Cristian Cruz kept his head down as he was taken from the 108 Precinct. Photo by Dean Moses
Cristian Cruz kept his head down as he was taken from the 108 Precinct. Photo by Dean Moses

Appearing sullen with his eyes locked on his shoes, the Bronx native was strapped into the rear of an unmarked squad car, which will whisk him to court to face a slew of charges such as, attempted murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a deadly weapon, grand larceny, and more. Cruz has a criminal history of 12 prior arrests.

Cruz glances back as he is whisked to court. Photo by Dean Moses

Police are still searching for a second suspect.

The investigation remains active and ongoing, and anyone with information about the shootout can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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