View Full Version : NYPD sergeant shot twice in legs while chasing black suspect in Queens
08-09-2012, 02:13 PM
Kelly Says NYPD Searching For Possible Shooter Of NYPD Sergeant
August 9, 2012 4:10 PM
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that the NYPD is looking for a man in connection with the shooting of an NYPD police sergeant shot in both legs Wednesday night in Queens.
Kelly said Thursday afternoon the man they are looking for is identified as John Thomas.
“We are looking for this individual,” Kelly said. “Someone we very much want to talk to.”
“Investigation determined that he may be the shooter,” Kelly said.
Sgt. Craig Bier and his partner, both members of an anti-gang unit, were on patrol when they tried to stop a suspect on a bicycle around 10:30 p.m. on 107th Street, police said.
Kelly said that when police tried to stop the person on the bike, another person ran off. They pursued the man who was running away, leading officers on a chase before turning around and firing directly at Sgt. Bier, police said.
“We don’t believe at this time the person who did the shooting was on the bicycle,” Kelly said.
Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg provided details about the shooting during a news conference early Thursday.
“Sgt. Bier, who had already run back to 107 Avenue to block the gunman’s escape route, exchanged gunfire with the suspect — who fired four times — striking the sergeant in both legs,” Kelly said.
Bier, a 44-year-old who is a 15 year veteran cop, fired back before collapsing on the sidewalk, police said.
Police said the suspect then tossed a 9 mm pistol on the ground and ran off, leaving Bier bleeding on the ground as fellow officers rushed to help.
He was taken to the hospital by members of a Queens South Impact team who were nearby and heard the gunshots as another cop, who is a certified EMT, applied pressure to Bier’s wounds.
“Here we are once again at a hospital,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at Jamaica Hospital. “Another night and another shooting of one of our Finest.”
09-09-2012, 07:33 PM
Cops arrest suspect in Aug. 8 shooting of police sergeant
Last Updated: 9:45 PM, September 9, 2012
A career criminal wanted for shooting a decorated NYPD sergeant in the legs last month was arrested this evening, cops said.
Authorities conducted a manhunt across five states — spanning several hundred addresses — for John Thomas, 24, after he wounded Sgt. Craig Bier in Jamaica, Queens during a chase on Aug. 8, sources said.
Thomas, accompanied by a lawyer, turned himself into cops around 7 p.m. at the parking lot of a Pep Boys at Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, cops said.
He was taken to the 103 Precinct station house and charges are pending.
06-12-2015, 07:33 AM
Cop-shooter found guilty of attempted murder
By Emily Saul
June 12, 2015 | 12:31am
John Thomas at a 2012 court appearance.
Photo: Ellis Kaplan
A cop-shooter was found guilty of attempted murder of a police sergeant in Queens Supreme Court on Thursday.
John Thomas, 27, shot decorated NYPD Sgt. Craig Bier after the cop approached him on the corner of 107th Avenue and Union Hall Street on the night of Aug. 8, 2012.
Thomas, who has 11 prior busts, fired four times at Bier during a foot chase, hitting him in the legs. He later turned himself in.
Bier has received 65 medals over his 15-year career with NYPD.
Thomas’ sentencing is set for July 29. He faces 40 years to life in prison.
03-02-2016, 03:47 PM
Judge to cop-shooter: ‘You will never step foot outside of a prison before you die’
By Larry Celona, Shawn Cohen and Emily Saul
March 2, 2016 | 3:38pm
John Thomas at his sentencing on March 2. Photo: Ellis Kaplan
A Queens judge lashed into a cop-hating career criminal who opened fire on a heavily decorated NYPD sergeant, sentencing him to 55 years to life after disdainfully chiding, “You will never step foot outside of a prison before you die.”
“Who are you, to take a gun, and try to kill a New York City Police Officer?” Judge Gregory Lasak jeered at shooter John Thomas Wednesday before a courtroom packed with cops, many of who smiled at the jab.
Craig Bier shakes hands with NYPD members after John Thomas’ sentencing on March 2.
Photo: Ellis Kaplan
His intended target, Sgt. Craig Bier, sat front and center, beaming.
“It’s all about choices, and you made some very bad choices” Lasak told the failed cop-killer, who had earlier reiterated his innocence when asked if he had anything to say.
“You have nothing else to say?” Lasak asked, incredulously.
“I’m innocent -- I have nothing else to say :rolleyes:,” the convicted felon responded.
“Instead of telling me you’re innocent, you would have been better off asking for the minimum sentence,” Judge Lasak spat back, his voice rising. “The proof against you is overwhelming!”
Bier stood for his victim impact statement before his girlfriend and pews lined with fellow cops and delegates from the Sergeants Benevolence Association, who have stood behind him since the shooting.
“Can I call you Johnny?” the sergeant asked disdainfully as he addressed Thomas.
“I never think of you, except when I’m putting on a bathing suit and I see the scars on my legs, or when I’m shoveling snow,” he admitted.
“You could have gotten away, but you shot me, and that tells me two things,” the still active sergeant said. “The first is that you’re an idiot– and you made a bad choice — and the second is that you’re a menace to my brothers and sisters in blue, and to everyone else in New York City.”
Thomas — who had 11 priors — was convicted on charges of attempted murder after taking four shots at Bier and hitting him in the legs during a foot chase in August 2012.
He then skipped town, leading authorities on a manhunt that spanned five states before he finally turned himself in a month later.
Throughout the trial, his attorney Ikiesha Al Shabazz :rolleyes: unsuccessfully argued that “evidence tampering” was responsible for framing her client. :rolleyes:
“My client had previously been offered 15 years,” Shabazz said Wednesday, citing an expired plea deal as she begged Lasak to impose the minimum sentence. “Hopefully my client won’t be punished for going to trial.”
Bier, a 16-year veteran of the NYPD, has received over 65 medals over the course of his esteemed career. He now works as a member of the NYPD’s Regional Fugitive Task Force.
“This was a senseless violent act, and once again, illustrates how dangerous police work is,” Queens district Attorney Richard Brown said after the sentencing. “‘The defendant has shown that he has no regard for authority, and is a menace to society. Today’s sentence — the maximum allowed by law — is more than justified.”
Thomas, wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, maintained a small smirk as he was led out of the courtroom.
After walking through halls lined with clapping officers, Bier said he was “shocked” that Thomas got the maximum sentence.
“I’ve spent most of my career in Brooklyn, and I’m elated, because nobody gets 55 to life in Brooklyn, not even if you kill the president and burn down an orphanage,” the sergeant told The Post. “He made a conscious choice to shoot and kill me, and there’s no place in society for someone like that.”
“I’m relieved that this chapter is finally over,” Bier said. “In the end, he is in a cage for his whole life.”
03-02-2016, 05:50 PM
Summary of case:
Judge to (black) cop-shooter: ‘You will never step foot outside of a prison before you die’ (http://nypost.com/2016/03/02/judge-to-cop-shooter-you-will-never-step-foot-outside-of-a-prison-before-you-die/)
A Queens judge lashed into a cop-hating career criminal who opened fire on a heavily decorated NYPD sergeant, sentencing him to 55 years to life after disdainfully chiding, “You will never step foot outside of a prison before you die.” “Who are you, to take a gun, and try to kill a New York City Police Officer?” Judge Gregory Lasak jeered at shooter John Thomas Wednesday before a courtroom packed with cops, many of who smiled at the jab. His intended target, Sgt. Craig Bier, sat front and center, beaming. “You could have gotten away, but you shot me, and that tells me two things,” the still active sergeant said. “The first is that you’re an idiot– and you made a bad choice — and the second is that you’re a menace to my brothers and sisters in blue, and to everyone else in New York City.” - (Black-on-white (http://www.newnation.org/NNN-Black-on-White.html))
Cop-shooter found guilty of attempted murder (http://nypost.com/2015/06/12/cop-shooter-found-guilty-of-attempted-murder/) - June 12, 2015
Queens jury rejects claim that cop shot himself and convicts man for attempted murder (http://www.***********.com/new-york/nyc-crime/queens-jury-convicts-man-shooting-nypd-sergeant-2012-article-1.2255621) - June 11, 2015
Cops arrest suspect in Aug. 8 shooting of police sergeant (http://nypost.com/2012/09/10/cops-arrest-suspect-in-aug-8-shooting-of-police-sergeant/) - September 10, 2012
Police Identify Potential Gunman In Shooting Of NYPD Sergeant In Queens (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/09/nypd-cop-recovering-after-being-shot-in-both-legs/) - August 9, 2012
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