Advertisement

Driver charged in Queens shootout that killed NYPD cop Jonathan Diller

NEW YORK — One of the suspects involved in the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller was charged with weapon possession Wednesday, police said.

Lindy Jones, 41, was behind the wheel of a Kia Soul crossover SUV idling at a bus stop in Far Rockaway Monday evening when his passenger, Guy Rivera, allegedly opened fire on the cop.

Police charged Jones Wednesday with weapon possession and possession of a defaced firearm for his role in the deadly clash. His arraignment in Queens Criminal Court was pending.

Jones was previously busted on weapons possession charges last April after cops allegedly found a loaded pistol in his white Infiniti while it was parked on Beach 47th St., about a mile and a half from where Monday’s shooting occurred.

Jones admitted the car and a cell phone next to the gun were his but didn’t cop to the gun.

At his arraignment, a judge agreed to prosecutors’ requests he be held on $75,000 bail but declined their request he be fitted with an ankle monitor. He’d due back in court Monday in that case.

Mayor Adams, announcing Officer Diller’s death at Jamaica Hospital Monday, used Jones recent arrest to criticize the state’s bail reform laws.

“April 2023 — less than a year, gun charge, he’s back on the street,” Adams fumed. “This is what you call not a crime problem but a recidivist problem. The same bad people doing bad things to good people. Less than a year, he’s back on the streets.”

Diller, a member of the NYPD’s Queens South Community Response Team, his partner and a sergeant were on Mott Ave. near Smith Place when they observed the SUV sitting at the bus stop for more than 10 minutes about 5:50 p.m. Monday, officials said.

“The cop had very good instincts,” said a high-ranking police official who reviewed the officers’ body camera footage of the shooting. “There was something about that car sitting there for as long as it was that didn’t sit right with [Diller].”

Investigators now believe Jones and Rivera were either casing a nearby T-Mobile store or keeping tabs on someone they wanted to rob when the cops approached and asked them to move the vehicle.

Rivera, 34, refused Diller’s command to open the passenger side door, according to an NYPD official. When Jones finally complied and popped the locks, Diller tried to open the door but Rivera twice pulled the door back.

When Diller then managed to yank the door open, Rivera allegedly pulled a gun and shot the officer.

“You can hear [Diller] say, ‘Take your hands out of your pocket,’ ” said the NYPD official who reviewed the body camera footage. “And then he’s shot and you hear him say, ‘I’m shot!’ ”

Diller’s partner opened fire three times in response. A bullet blasted through the closed driver’s side window, flew past Jones sitting behind the wheel and hit Rivera in the back.

Rivera’s gun, which jammed after he fired once, fell to the ground. A second gun was later found in the vehicle, according to police sources.

Despite his fatal wound, Diller managed to grab Rivera’s gun before the suspect could pick it up.

Rivera remained in the hospital Wednesday morning. Charges against him are pending.