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Front Page March 24, 2011  RSS feed

Man Guilty Of Shooting Cops In Queensbridge

Two Officers Hit; One Forced To Retire
by Sam Goldman

Raul Nunez Raul Nunez A Manhattan man has been convicted of two counts of firstdegree attempted manslaughter stemming from the shooting of two police officers—and the firing of shots at a third—inside of the Queensbridge subway station in 2008, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced.

In addition to his manslaughter conviction, Raul Nunez, 35, of Cherry Street in Manhattan’s Two Bridges neighborhood, was also found guilty on Friday, Mar. 18 of one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron, who set sentencing for Apr. 7.

Nunez faces over 50 years in prison.

According to the trial testimony, on Oct. 21, 2008, between 5:05 and 5:10 p.m. at the Queensbridge F train station located at 21st Street and 41st Avenue in Long Island City, Nunez entered a turnstile using a student MetroCard that he was not authorized to use.

As he walked down to the Manhattan bound platform, Police Officers Jason Maass and Shane Farina of NYPD Transit District 20 approached him and asked to see his MetroCard and identification.

Nunez told the police officers that he had no identification, and the officers subsequently attempted to place him in custody by placing handcuffs on his left wrist.

Nunez resisted having his right hand cuffed, and began to fight with the police officers, at which time all three fell to the ground.

According to testimony, Nunez took possession of a 9mm handgun belonging to Officer Maass and shot both officers before running up an escalator on the subway platform to the main level, still holding onto the weapon. When Nunez reached the main level of the station, he shot at Lt. Gary Abrahall, but missed. Lt. Abrahall returned fire, hitting Nunez three times.

The officers were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center. Officer Fa- rina was struck by one bullet, which traveled through his lung and small intestine. Officer Maas was hit in the lower back by bullets ricocheting up from the ground. Due to their proximity to his spinal cord, Maas was forced to retire at 28 years old.

Following his arrest, Nunez admitted being in this country illegally and stated that he did not want to be deported to the Dominican Republic.

“This case underscores, once again, the real dangers that our police officers face each day in the performance of their duty,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “What could be described as the routine stopping of a suspected fare beater shows that there is nothing routine in police work. ”

The Times Newsweekly previously reported on the shooting in its Oct. 23, 2008 issue.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert J. Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Major Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney James W. Evangelou, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials James C. Quinn and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorneys Robert J. Masters