QUEENS — A suspected cop killer was indicted Thursday on 12 criminal counts in the death of Detective Brian Moore, gunned down in the line of duty while he was on patrol in Queens, according to the borough’s district attorney.
Demetrius Blackwell, 35, pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges including aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to court documents. His attorney is now looking at opening an insanity plea in Blackwell’s defense.
He has been held without bail since he allegedly shot Brian Moore, a 25-year-old officer, on the face May 2. Moore died two days after he was shot.
Moore was posthumously promoted to detective at his funeral, which was attended by thousands of colleagues, law enforcement from around the country, neighbors and strangers who lauded his brief but decorated career. He’d been on the force barely five years when he was killed.
Police said Blackwell has “an extensive arrest history” and believe the gun he allegedly used to kill Moore — and was later discovered in a backyard near the crime scene — had been stolen 2011 from a bait and tackle shop in Georgia.
Moore and a partner were in plainclothes and traveling in an unmarked car in Queens Village on May 2 when they pulled alongside a man who was “walking and adjusting an object in his waistband,” NYPD said.
When approached by the officers, the pedestrian reached into his waistband and pulled out a weapon. He fired multiple shots into the officers’ car. Moore, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, was struck in the head. His partner, Officer Erik Jansen, was not injured.
“Both officers were still seated in the vehicle and did not have an opportunity to get out or return fire,” the police department said.
After allegedly opening fire, Blackwell ran from the scene. With Moore mortally wounded behind the wheel, Jansen radioed for help and a manhunt began. It ended 90 minutes later when Blackwell was taken into custody inside 104-25 212th Place, NYPD said.
Moore was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. He spent two days in a coma before he was taken off life support Monday, marking the third time in five months that an NYPD officer had been killed in the line of duty.
Blackwell originally had been charged with attempted murder but those charges were upgraded to include first-degree murder in the wake of Moore’s death.
New York does not have the death penalty, but the main charges would be punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.