ST. ALBANS, Queens (PIX11) — A Queens man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to a litany of crimes, including shooting a former SUNY Buffalo student-athlete and choking a six-year-old boy. Queens District Attorney announced the sentence Tuesday.
“[Jeffrey Thurston] has now been held accountable for displaying a blatant disregard for public safety on three separate occasions,” Katz wrote. “Within a span of a few months, he fired a gun at a vehicle, broke into the home of his estranged ex-girlfriend, and shot a young man following a brush of shoulders. The defendant has been sentenced by the court and will spend a lengthy time in prison as punishment for his callous actions.”
Thurston, 28, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, burglary in the first and second degree, three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, three counts of attempted assault in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child. All of his crimes took place between March 2020 and July 2020.
According to investigations, the first incident took place on March 13, 2020. On that day, Katz said Thurston broke into his estranged girlfriend’s home, displayed a knife and then choked the woman’s six-year-old son.
On July 8 that same year, Thurston fired a gun at an occupied vehicle. No one was injured during that incident, officials said.
Thurston was caught two days after a June 27, 2020 incident in which he attacked a 20-year-old man after the two accidentally bumped into each other at a store. According to investigators, the victim — who at the time was a defensive end for SUNY Buffalo’s football team, chased Thurston and tackled him to the ground.
Surveillance footage then showed Thurston getting up, walking away and turning quickly with a firearm in his hand. He fired a single shot at the victim’s abdomen, critically injuring him.
After his 18-year sentence, Thurston will undergo supervision for an additional five years.