Man surrenders in shooting of NYPD cop from LI

A handout photo of John Thomas, the suspected A handout photo of John Thomas, the suspected shooter of Sgt. Craig Bier, a 15-year NYPD veteran from Hicksville who was shot in South Jamaica, Queens. Photo Credit: NYPD

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The man suspected in the August shooting in Queens of a NYPD officer from Hicksville surrendered to police Sunday night, accompanied by his attorney, police said.

John Thomas, 24, of Queens, was taken into custody at about 7 Sunday night in the parking lot of a Pep Boys store at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, police said.

Police suspect Thomas of shooting Sgt. Craig Bier, 44, in the legs during a late-night confrontation on Aug. 9 in Jamaica.

Bier, a decorated 15-year veteran of the NYPD, was on patrol with an anti-gang unit when he was shot in both legs at about 10:30 p.m. near 107th Avenue.

Bier and his partner, Det. Nicholas Romano, attempted to stop a man on a bicycle for questioning, police said.

The man fled on foot and and Bier gave chase. He exchanged gunfire with the man after the chase, police said.

Bier is still recovering from his wounds.

Thomas' attorney contacted the NYPD to say that his client would surrender Sunday night if a location could be negotiated, NYPD officials said. Thomas and the attorney then met police in the parking lot and he was taken into custody.

As of early Monday morning, Thomas was being held at the 103rd Precinct in Queens. He was expected to be formally arrested and charged later Monday.

It was not known why Thomas, who has been arrested in the past on drug and weapons possession charges, turned himself in, officials said.

After the shooting, police recovered a 9-mm Ruger handgun at the scene -- the same type of weapon used in the December killing of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, 47, of West Babylon. Both weapons had been purchased in Virginia.

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