A judge on Friday sentenced the would-be getaway driver for a man who shot a Nassau police officer to 7 years in prison, closing what authorities said was a painful chapter for the law enforcement official that began two summers ago in New Hyde Park.
Defendant Renhang Qiu, 24, previously had pleaded guilty to burglary and agreed to cooperate with the Nassau district attorney's office in its prosecution of shooter Cong Xu. The Brooklyn man declined to speak Friday as Judge Philip Grella sentenced him in Nassau County Court in Mineola under the terms of his plea bargain.
Authorities have said Police Officer Mohit Arora, 34, who joined the force in 2007, has returned to full duty but still suffers side effects from the bullet that hit him in the lower abdomen on Aug. 14, 2013, when he answered a call about a Campbell Street home burglary in progress.
"This closes a chapter in his life," police union president James Carver said Friday. "However, he still will be dealing with the pain inflicted by the gunshot for years to come."
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas called the case an example of "greed gone terribly wrong," and also said in a prepared statement that it was a reminder of the dangers police face on the job every day.
Cong, 22, a Chinese national who also had lived in Brooklyn, is serving a 30-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to assault and burglary charges. Prosecutors dropped an attempted murder charge as part of his plea bargain.
Arora was hospitalized for about 10 days and needed surgery to repair injuries from the bullet that exited his right hip. He was out of work for months afterward. He said after Cong's sentencing last week that he knew he was fortunate to be alive and was ready to move on with his life. The officer also said Cong "got what he deserved."
Renhang had family living in the home that he and Cong targeted, according to court records.
Cong told police he fled when he found people inside the house that he entered with a gun to burglarize and ran after ignoring police commands not to move. He fired gunshots outside while trying to escape, one of which hit Arora. Police soon captured both suspects in the neighborhood.