Nassau jury hears some of slain officer's final words
A recording of Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez's voice played in a Mineola courtroom Friday, with jurors hearing some of his last words as he radioed in details of a car pursuit that ended in his shooting death.
"He's refusing to pull over," the 29-year-old officer reported as he and his partner followed a disabled car that authorities say murder defendant Darrell Fuller was using to flee an accident.
A short time later, Lopez's partner, Officer Clarence Hudson, could be heard saying he needed help right away at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue at the Nassau-Queens border.
"My partner's down," Hudson said into his police radio.
The Oct. 23, 2012, recording left Lopez's sister, Charo Ramos, in tears as she sat just feet away from the alleged killer.
Fuller, 34, of St. Albans, Queens, is on trial on first-degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of Lopez and Raymond Facey, 58, of Brooklyn.
Prosecutors say Fuller, who was on parole, had a gun in his car when he fled a crash scene on Northern Boulevard in Queens. Fuller shot Lopez in the chest after the officer approached his car with a Taser, before driving south on the Cross Island Parkway and fatally shooting Facey so he could escape in his car, according to authorities.
Lopez lived in Babylon Village and was an eight-year veteran of the Nassau police force.
NYPD Officer Omar Castillo testified Friday that he and his partner were the first to arrive at the scene after Lopez was shot.
"One officer was laying on the ground," Castillo said. "There was another officer kneeling over him."
Castillo said Lopez was unconscious and on his back in the road next to his Nassau Emergency Service Unit police truck, with a wound to his chest. Castillo said he and his partner put out a description of the suspect's vehicle after speaking to Hudson and called for medical help -- as Hudson also had done.
Nassau Sgt. Vincent Papa testified that he rushed to the scene after hearing Hudson's call. He described the officer as "upset and concerned" about his partner, who had already been rushed away in an ambulance.
In response to questions from Fuller's lawyer, Papa said he told Lopez and Hudson before the shooting to stop following the fleeing Honda Accord and notify city police. His reasons weren't disclosed.
Fuller faces life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder. Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday.