NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, 31, of Massapequa Park, was fatally shot Monday evening while conducting a vehicle stop in Far Rockaway. Credit: NYPD YouTube; Neil Miller; NYPD via @NYPDPC X account

This story was reported and written by John Asbury, Robert BrodskyMatthew Chayes, Anthony M. DeStefano, Nicole Fuller and Maureen Mullarkey.

An NYPD officer from Massapequa Park died after being shot in Far Rockaway, Queens, on Monday evening when a gunman wounded him in the torso after a confrontation involving a vehicle parked illegally in a bus lane, police said.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said that the officer, Jonathan Diller, 31, and a second officer were conducting a vehicle stop with two people inside.

The suspect, who was the passenger in the car, refused to obey the police orders to get out of the vehicle, instead pointing a gun at the officers, shooting Diller in the torso, police said. Diller was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. The slain officer's partner shot the suspect in the back, according to officials.

The officials did not say why the officers ordered the occupants out of the car.

“We lost Jonathan tonight,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. “This dangerous individual took the life of a police officer, a husband and son. We can see it as the role police face every day, but the reality is this was a loved one we lost, a young man.”

Diller, after being shot, continued to try to disarm the suspect, officials said.

“He had a young wife who's devastated and police officers … lost a brother,” PBA president Patrick Hendry said. 

He also leaves behind a young child, according to José Bayona, a spokesman for the mayor.

The body of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller is removed from...

The body of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller is removed from Jamaica Hospital in Queens surrounded by fellow officers saluting. Credit: Ed Quinn

Diller, who grew up in Franklin Square and was on the force for three years, was brought to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead.

Just after 11:30 p.m., a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” as Diller’s remains were wheeled out of the hospital through sliding glass doors into a police ambulance. The remains were draped in an NYPD flag.

Hundreds of officers — mostly from the NYPD but also from the Nassau County Police Department and the New York State Police — stood inside and outside the emergency room entrance and saluted. What appeared to be Diller’s family, accompanied by Caban, stood crying nearby.

Services for Diller will be held in his hometown beginning Thursday, the NYPD and the funeral home announced Tuesday afternoon.

Visitation will be held at Massapequa Funeral Home’s South Chapel at 4980 Merrick Rd. on Thursday and Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m., according to the funeral home. A funeral service will then 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.

Diller attended H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square through eighth grade, according to a district spokesperson.He graduated in 2014 from SUNY Maritime College with a degree in Marine Transportation.

Ronald Benevento said he lived next door to the Diller family for 30 years in Franklin Square and felt “sick” when he heard the news of the police officer’s death.

He described Diller as a special and amazing kid, who loved playing hockey and would help him often.

“He did nothing but help people and that's what he was all about,” said Benevento. “Just making the community better and being a better person and making everyone better.”

Martha Catalano, another Franklin Square neighbor, said she had heard of a police officer’s passing, but did not realize that it was Diller, the boy who grew up across the street.

“My daughter is a police officer too, and so this hits very close to home,” she said, tearing up. “I’m very sorry to the parents, to everybody.”

Diller, his wife and their young child were building a life together in Massapequa Park, a village known as a hub for members of law enforcement. Their street was mostly quiet Tuesday morning but around 9:30 a.m., an SUV carrying members of his family, including a small child, pulled into the driveway of the well-manicured two-story home, where three Nassau police officers were stationed outside.

The relatives declined to speak to reporters who were also outside the home. 

Earlier in the morning, a friend of Diller’s widow arrived carrying a flower bouquet.

Andrew Russo, who lives across the street, said that Diller and his family were quiet and kind. He said Diller would shovel their sidewalks when it snowed. 

Naomi Sanchez, another neighbor, said she didn’t know Diller but had heard of his death.

“We know that they always put their lives on the line for the public and it's very, very sad,” she said.

A blue ribbon was tied to the front door post of her home in support of her son, who is a Nassau County police officer.

“It’s always scary,” she said, referring to police officers leaving for work every day. “I’m always praying for my son’s safety.”

Officials from Oyster Bay Town, Nassau County and Massapequa Park Village are hosting a memorial candlelight vigil Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Brady Park in Massapequa Park to honor Diller. They also directed all flags be flown half-staff at county, town and village facilities.

The shooting suspect, who was not named, was also brought to Jamaica Hospital, but his condition was unknown. Police officials said the other person, the driver, had a criminal record involving a weapons charge in the last year.

The shooting occurred at 5:48 p.m. at 1919 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway.

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