The driver of the car implicated in the killing of Det. Jonathan Diller last month said he went to buy some liquor and upon his return to the vehicle had no idea the other man in his car accused of shooting Diller was going to start firing, according to records. Credit: Ed Quinn

The driver of the car implicated in last month's shooting death of NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller told investigators he went to buy liquor and upon his return to the vehicle, had no idea his passenger, the police officer's suspected killer, would soon open fire, according to records revealed Tuesday in a Queens courtroom.

In the hours after Diller, 31, of Massapequa Park, was gunned down on the afternoon of March 25, Lindy Jones, 41, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Edgemere, Queens, told police that Guy Rivera, who was riding in the passenger seat of the 2016 Kia Soul, unexpectedly started shooting at police who had approached the car parked in a bus stop on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway.

“I didn’t know it was going to go left,” Jones told cops, according to his statement read out in court, referring to the shooting. “There was no reason for it to go left."

Investigators have said that Diller and other cops with a community response team were watching Rivera walking on the sidewalk when they saw his sweatshirt weighed down with what they suspected was a handgun. Diller and fellow officers approached Rivera as he sat in the car and tried to get the passenger side door opened.

Rivera resisted Diller’s attempts to open the door and it was then that he shot the officer in the stomach under his protective vest, according to police. Other cops who surrounded the vehicle then fired at Rivera, striking him in the back.

Diller died hours after the shooting at a hospital. He was promoted to the rank of detective at his funeral. He was married with one child.

Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Reale read a number of statements into the record from Jones to police Tuesday during a brief court hearing on the case before Judge Michael Aloise in Queens State Supreme Court. Jones hasn’t been charged with the shooting of Diller. He does face related felony weapons charges. He was not injured in the shooting.

Jones, who was sentenced in 2003 to 10 years in prison on an attempted murder charge, pleaded not guilty through his defense attorney to the indictment. Aloise ordered Jones, who is also under indictment in connection with a 2023 weapons possession case, to remain in custody without bail.

Rivera, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder but was also indicted on related weapons possession charges. He was moved late last month from a hospital to a Rikers Island facility to await trial.

Jones admitted to police that there was a second firearm in the Kia, which investigators said was a defaced 9 mm handgun, according to one of the statements he made to police.

“There was another gun in the car, I think they found it, that is why I am still here,” Jones told police.

He then attempted to distance himself from any link to the weapon.

“There isn’t going to be my DNA on that,” Jones said about the second firearm, according to Reale.

Separately, Tuesday in a briefing with reporters, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said attempts by cops to chemically retrieve the serial number on the defaced handgun to determine its owner had been unsuccessful.

According to Reale, Jones made a number of statements to cops after he was arrested. In some of them, Reale said, Jones indicated that he believed that Rivera faced a tough case against him

“They are not going to offer him a plea [bargain],” said Jones, according to Reale. “They are coming down on him.”

Jones is scheduled to return to court on June 12. Rivera's next court date is set for May 7. 

Defense attorney Murray Singer, of Port Washington, told Aloise that Jones was being housed in a jail facility in Riverhead. Singer declined to comment after the hearing.

The driver of the car implicated in last month's shooting death of NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller told investigators he went to buy liquor and upon his return to the vehicle, had no idea his passenger, the police officer's suspected killer, would soon open fire, according to records revealed Tuesday in a Queens courtroom.

In the hours after Diller, 31, of Massapequa Park, was gunned down on the afternoon of March 25, Lindy Jones, 41, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Edgemere, Queens, told police that Guy Rivera, who was riding in the passenger seat of the 2016 Kia Soul, unexpectedly started shooting at police who had approached the car parked in a bus stop on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway.

“I didn’t know it was going to go left,” Jones told cops, according to his statement read out in court, referring to the shooting. “There was no reason for it to go left."

NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller was shot to death March 25.

NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller was shot to death March 25. Credit: TNS/NYPD

Investigators have said that Diller and other cops with a community response team were watching Rivera walking on the sidewalk when they saw his sweatshirt weighed down with what they suspected was a handgun. Diller and fellow officers approached Rivera as he sat in the car and tried to get the passenger side door opened.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • The driver of the car implicated in last month's shooting death of NYPD Det. Jonathan Diller told investigators he had no idea his passenger, the police officer's suspected killer, would soon open fire, according to records revealed Tuesday in a Queens courtroom.
  • “I didn’t know it was going to go left,” driver Lindy Jones told cops, according to his statement read out in court, referring to the shooting. “There was no reason for it to go left."
  • Jones pleaded not guilty through his defense attorney Tuesday to a weapons charges connected to the fatal shooting of Diller.

Rivera resisted Diller’s attempts to open the door and it was then that he shot the officer in the stomach under his protective vest, according to police. Other cops who surrounded the vehicle then fired at Rivera, striking him in the back.

Diller died hours after the shooting at a hospital. He was promoted to the rank of detective at his funeral. He was married with one child.

Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Reale read a number of statements into the record from Jones to police Tuesday during a brief court hearing on the case before Judge Michael Aloise in Queens State Supreme Court. Jones hasn’t been charged with the shooting of Diller. He does face related felony weapons charges. He was not injured in the shooting.

Jones, who was sentenced in 2003 to 10 years in prison on an attempted murder charge, pleaded not guilty through his defense attorney to the indictment. Aloise ordered Jones, who is also under indictment in connection with a 2023 weapons possession case, to remain in custody without bail.

Rivera, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder but was also indicted on related weapons possession charges. He was moved late last month from a hospital to a Rikers Island facility to await trial.

Jones admitted to police that there was a second firearm in the Kia, which investigators said was a defaced 9 mm handgun, according to one of the statements he made to police.

Members of the NYPD and others outside Queens Criminal Court on...

Members of the NYPD and others outside Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday in tribute to Det. Jonathan Diller.

  Credit: Ed Quinn

“There was another gun in the car, I think they found it, that is why I am still here,” Jones told police.

He then attempted to distance himself from any link to the weapon.

“There isn’t going to be my DNA on that,” Jones said about the second firearm, according to Reale.

Separately, Tuesday in a briefing with reporters, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said attempts by cops to chemically retrieve the serial number on the defaced handgun to determine its owner had been unsuccessful.

According to Reale, Jones made a number of statements to cops after he was arrested. In some of them, Reale said, Jones indicated that he believed that Rivera faced a tough case against him

“They are not going to offer him a plea [bargain],” said Jones, according to Reale. “They are coming down on him.”

Jones is scheduled to return to court on June 12. Rivera's next court date is set for May 7. 

Defense attorney Murray Singer, of Port Washington, told Aloise that Jones was being housed in a jail facility in Riverhead. Singer declined to comment after the hearing.

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