Court date for man accused in cop shooting
A Queens man suspected of wounding an NYPD officer last month is expected to be in a Queens courtroom Tuesday to face arraignment on attempted murder and other charges, officials said.
John F. Thomas, 24, of Jamaica, surrendered Sunday to authorities in connection with the Aug. 8 shooting of Sgt. Craig Bier at the intersection of 107th Avenue and Union Hall Street in Jamaica. Bier was on an anti-gang unit patrol when he approached Thomas around 10:30 p.m., according to investigators. Thomas ran away from Bier and then pulled out a gun and shot the officer, wounding him in both legs, said police.
Bier, who lives in Hicksville, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was treated for his wounds and later released.
In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Thomas was also charged in a second shooting. On June 6, Thomas approached a man he knew at an intersection in Queens and fired at him 17 times, hitting him in the right buttocks and lacerating his right arm, Brown said.
Thomas was taken into custody Sunday evening when he surrendered to NYPD officers in the parking lot of an auto-parts store at Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard in Queens, Brown said.
Along with the attempted murder charge, Thomas faces charges of aggravated assault upon a police officer and assault on a police officer. In the earlier attack, Thomas is also accused of attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault. He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted in both cases.