Lindy Jones, 41, the driver involved in the fatal shooting of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller, is facing felony weapons charges. The alleged shooter remains hospitalized awaiting charges, police said. NewsdayTV's Jasmine Anderson reports. Credit: NewsdayTV

This story was reported by Matthew Chayes, Anthony M. DeStefano, Grant Parpan and Anthony Rieber. It was written by Parpan.

The driver involved in the Queens fatal shooting of an NYPD officer from Long Island was arraigned on felony weapons charges Wednesday, while police said the alleged shooter remains hospitalized awaiting charges.

Lindy Jones, 41, was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon after investigators found a loaded and defaced 9 mm handgun during a search of the Kia he was driving before Monday's shooting, according to charging documents. Jones, who did not enter a plea, was ordered held without bail by Judge Maria Gonzalez in Queens Criminal Court.

Guy Rivera, 34, the alleged shooter, remains hospitalized in police custody and will be charged at a later date, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. Police recovered the weapon Rivera allegedly used to kill NYPD Officer Jonathan E. Diller soon after the shooting Monday.

While executing a search warrant of the vehicle Tuesday, investigators found a defaced 9 mm inside a glove box of the vehicle with one round of ammunition in the chamber and seven more in an attached magazine, according to court records.

“My office will continue working around the clock to seek justice on behalf of Officer Diller’s loved ones, his NYPD family and in honor of his selflessness and courage,” Katz said in a statement after the arraignment. “A young police officer and father was ruthlessly gunned down in the line of duty, protecting and serving the city of New York.”

Diller, a 31-year-old married father of one who lived in Massapequa Park, was shot in the torso and killed by Rivera, a passenger in Jones’ vehicle, during a traffic stop in Far Rockaway on Monday night, police said. Rivera fired one shot at Diller while sitting in the passenger seat after the two engaged in a tug-of-war over the suspect's car door during a traffic stop that quickly escalated into a deadly encounter, according to police.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump plans to attend Diller's wake in Massapequa Thursday afternoon. Sheppard said the Secret Service is the primary agency responsible for security, but the NYPD will provide assistance during the 2 to 4 p.m. visitation at Massapequa Funeral Home’s South Chapel. A second visitation will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., according to the funeral home.

At the arraignment Wednesday, Queens Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Reale said Jones, who entered the courtroom in a black sweatshirt, his hands cuffed behind his back, told investigators he was picking up a hitchhiker and did not know Rivera. He mentioned the gun in the vehicle in the presence of a police officer while being held at the 101st Precinct, Reale said.

“The defendant indicated there’s another gun in the car. 'I think they found it. That’s why I’m still here,'” Reale said of the defendant's remarks.

Jones, who is due back in court Friday, is facing 15 years in prison on the weapons charges, with the possibility of serving a total of 30 years if also convicted in a pending 2023 weapons case, the prosecutor said.

Court proceedings are open to the public but courtroom attendance Wednesday was limited to the media and police officers who wanted to witness the session.

Hundreds of police officers — both in uniforms and streetclothes — filled the courtroom and a separate overflow room to show their support for Diller, the first NYPD officer killed in the line of duty since 2022.

Katz, who vowed to charge Rivera “as soon as possible,” and NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry was among those in attendance. 

The emotional impact of the death of Diller, who died Monday night at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, extended from the courtroom to nearby Citi Field in Flushing, where the Mets will honor Diller with a sign atop Citi Field at Opening Day on Friday.

The sign, which includes a photo of Diller, reads: “In Memoriam: Jonathan Diller 1992-2024.” The Mets will hold a moment of silence. 

In addition to Thursday's wake, a service for Diller will take place on Saturday at St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church, 2 Bayview Ave., Massapequa, followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Police said they are still conducting their investigation into how the traffic stop escalated to a fatal shooting at about 5:48 p.m. Monday at 19-19 Mott Ave.

The department has not said why the police officers ordered the men to open the car.

A surveillance video posted Wednesday by @NY_Scoop, a social media news account, and confirmed as authentic by NYPD officials appears to show Diller falling to the ground as the first of three shots rings out. A commotion follows with people screaming, cries and groans, the video shows.

Police said Diller approached the passenger side of the vehicle while his partner went to the driver's side. Diller asked Rivera to roll down his window, but he refused. Jones, the driver, unlocked the door, and Diller and Rivera then engaged in the tug-of-war with the passenger side door, police said.

Diller eventually got the door open and directed Rivera to remove his hands from his sweatshirt pockets, police said. Rivera then fired one shot, striking Diller in the abdomen under his bullet-resistant vest, a police official said. Police said Diller continued to try to disarm the shooter, even after he was shot.

Diller’s partner fired twice in front of the driver and hit Rivera once in the back, according to police.

Police said that for about 10 minutes before the shooting, surveillance cameras show the Kia carrying the two men was illegally parked in a bus lane outside a T-Mobile store. 

“What were they planning on doing that night?” asked Patrick Hendry, NYPD Police Benevolent Association president, as he spoke following the arraignment of Jones.

Rivera and Jones both have extensive criminal records, documents from the Queens District Attorney's Office show.

Jones' criminal record dates back to 2001, when he was charged with attempted murder and first-degree robbery. He was sentenced in that case to 10 years in prison in 2003.

And last April, he was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun in Queens and released on bond, court records show.

Rivera was sentenced to 3½ years in prison in 2011 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment for firing a handgun at a man he attempted to rob of cash, the documents said. In 2016, Rivera pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 6-month license suspension after he sold cocaine and heroin to an undercover officer, the records show.

A law enforcement official said Rivera has 16 arrests — but most of the cases have been sealed.

The last NYPD officers killed on duty were Wilbert Mora, 27, and Jason Rivera, 22, who were shot in 2022 while responding to a domestic dispute at a Harlem apartment.

CORRECTION: Lindy Jones is 41. His age was incorrect in a previous version of this story.

The driver involved in the Queens fatal shooting of an NYPD officer from Long Island was arraigned on felony weapons charges Wednesday, while police said the alleged shooter remains hospitalized awaiting charges.

Lindy Jones, 41, was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon after investigators found a loaded and defaced 9 mm handgun during a search of the Kia he was driving before Monday's shooting, according to charging documents. Jones, who did not enter a plea, was ordered held without bail by Judge Maria Gonzalez in Queens Criminal Court.

Guy Rivera, 34, the alleged shooter, remains hospitalized in police custody and will be charged at a later date, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. Police recovered the weapon Rivera allegedly used to kill NYPD Officer Jonathan E. Diller soon after the shooting Monday.

While executing a search warrant of the vehicle Tuesday, investigators found a defaced 9 mm inside a glove box of the vehicle with one round of ammunition in the chamber and seven more in an attached magazine, according to court records.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • The driver involved in the Queens fatal shooting of an NYPD officer from Long Island was arraigned on felony weapons charges Wednesday.
  • Lindy Jones, 41, of Edgemere, Queens, was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon after investigators found a loaded and defaced 9 mm handgun during a search of the Kia he was driving before Monday's shooting, court papers show.
  • The alleged shooter, Guy Rivera, 34, of Long Island City, remains hospitalized in police custody and will be charged at a later date, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

“My office will continue working around the clock to seek justice on behalf of Officer Diller’s loved ones, his NYPD family and in honor of his selflessness and courage,” Katz said in a statement after the arraignment. “A young police officer and father was ruthlessly gunned down in the line of duty, protecting and serving the city of New York.”

Diller, a 31-year-old married father of one who lived in Massapequa Park, was shot in the torso and killed by Rivera, a passenger in Jones’ vehicle, during a traffic stop in Far Rockaway on Monday night, police said. Rivera fired one shot at Diller while sitting in the passenger seat after the two engaged in a tug-of-war over the suspect's car door during a traffic stop that quickly escalated into a deadly encounter, according to police.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump plans to attend Diller's wake in Massapequa Thursday afternoon. Sheppard said the Secret Service is the primary agency responsible for security, but the NYPD will provide assistance during the 2 to 4 p.m. visitation at Massapequa Funeral Home’s South Chapel. A second visitation will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., according to the funeral home.

At the arraignment Wednesday, Queens Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Reale said Jones, who entered the courtroom in a black sweatshirt, his hands cuffed behind his back, told investigators he was picking up a hitchhiker and did not know Rivera. He mentioned the gun in the vehicle in the presence of a police officer while being held at the 101st Precinct, Reale said.

“The defendant indicated there’s another gun in the car. 'I think they found it. That’s why I’m still here,'” Reale said of the defendant's remarks.

Jones, who is due back in court Friday, is facing 15 years in prison on the weapons charges, with the possibility of serving a total of 30 years if also convicted in a pending 2023 weapons case, the prosecutor said.

Court proceedings are open to the public but courtroom attendance Wednesday was limited to the media and police officers who wanted to witness the session.

Hundreds of police officers — both in uniforms and streetclothes — filled the courtroom and a separate overflow room to show their support for Diller, the first NYPD officer killed in the line of duty since 2022.

Katz, who vowed to charge Rivera “as soon as possible,” and NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry was among those in attendance. 

The emotional impact of the death of Diller, who died Monday night at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, extended from the courtroom to nearby Citi Field in Flushing, where the Mets will honor Diller with a sign atop Citi Field at Opening Day on Friday.

The sign, which includes a photo of Diller, reads: “In Memoriam: Jonathan Diller 1992-2024.” The Mets will hold a moment of silence. 

In addition to Thursday's wake, a service for Diller will take place on Saturday at St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church, 2 Bayview Ave., Massapequa, followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Police said they are still conducting their investigation into how the traffic stop escalated to a fatal shooting at about 5:48 p.m. Monday at 19-19 Mott Ave.

The department has not said why the police officers ordered the men to open the car.

A surveillance video posted Wednesday by @NY_Scoop, a social media news account, and confirmed as authentic by NYPD officials appears to show Diller falling to the ground as the first of three shots rings out. A commotion follows with people screaming, cries and groans, the video shows.

Police said Diller approached the passenger side of the vehicle while his partner went to the driver's side. Diller asked Rivera to roll down his window, but he refused. Jones, the driver, unlocked the door, and Diller and Rivera then engaged in the tug-of-war with the passenger side door, police said.

Diller eventually got the door open and directed Rivera to remove his hands from his sweatshirt pockets, police said. Rivera then fired one shot, striking Diller in the abdomen under his bullet-resistant vest, a police official said. Police said Diller continued to try to disarm the shooter, even after he was shot.

Diller’s partner fired twice in front of the driver and hit Rivera once in the back, according to police.

Police said that for about 10 minutes before the shooting, surveillance cameras show the Kia carrying the two men was illegally parked in a bus lane outside a T-Mobile store. 

“What were they planning on doing that night?” asked Patrick Hendry, NYPD Police Benevolent Association president, as he spoke following the arraignment of Jones.

Rivera and Jones both have extensive criminal records, documents from the Queens District Attorney's Office show.

Jones' criminal record dates back to 2001, when he was charged with attempted murder and first-degree robbery. He was sentenced in that case to 10 years in prison in 2003.

And last April, he was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun in Queens and released on bond, court records show.

Rivera was sentenced to 3½ years in prison in 2011 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment for firing a handgun at a man he attempted to rob of cash, the documents said. In 2016, Rivera pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 6 years in prison and a 6-month license suspension after he sold cocaine and heroin to an undercover officer, the records show.

A law enforcement official said Rivera has 16 arrests — but most of the cases have been sealed.

The last NYPD officers killed on duty were Wilbert Mora, 27, and Jason Rivera, 22, who were shot in 2022 while responding to a domestic dispute at a Harlem apartment.

CORRECTION: Lindy Jones is 41. His age was incorrect in a previous version of this story.

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