A grand jury last week returned a 12-count indictment charging a Queens Village man with the May murder of a city police officer and the attempted murder of his partner, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Demetrius Blackwell, 35, has been charged with one count each of aggravated murder, second- and first-degree murder, attempted aggravated murder, second- and first-degree attempted murder, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, petit larceny, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Blackwell, who has been held without bail since his initial arrest on May 3, faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole, if convicted.
According to the charges, Police Officer Brian Moore, 25, and his partner, Officer Erik Jansen, 30, who were assigned to the 105th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit, observed Blackwell adjusting his waistband on 104th Road around 6:15 p.m. on May 2. When the two officers rode alongside Blackwell to question him, he allegedly removed a gun from his waistband and fired a number of shots at the two officers who were still inside their police vehicle.
Moore was struck twice in the head and succumbed to his injuries two days later. Jansen was not struck.
Additionally, some time between firing the weapon and his apprehension, Blackwell allegedly stole a tee shirt and a pair of sneakers in an attempt to alter his appearance. At the time of his arrest, Blackwell allegedly possessed small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
Brown called Blackwell’s alleged actions “a direct attack on society and the law and reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day—and the ultimate sacrifice they may be called upon to make—as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities.”
Asked about his client’s current mental state, David Bart, Blackwell’s attorney, said he was not “at liberty to discuss any private interactions” with Blackwell.
“Things like his demeanor and such, to me, would be sacrosanct,” Bart said, adding that he has not begun to talk to Blackwell about any possible legal strategies.
By Michael V. Cusenza