ASTORIA, Queens — James Patrick Dillon has been arrested after an alleged 24-hour crime spree in Queens left a man dead and several people injured.
As police began a press conference around 5:45 p.m., cops in the 114th precinct received a call of a burglary in progress on 36th Street in Astoria.
When police arrived, they found James Patrick Dillon, 23, at the scene. Dillon had been at large in connection with three previous crimes including two slashings and a burning.
Two officers at the scene who tried to apprehend Dillon when he threw an unknown chemical substance, possibly gasoline, at their faces, burning their hands. Police then opened fire on Dillon before arresting him. Both officers suffered minor injuries and are expected to be okay.
Dillon was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.
A green knife was recovered in the backyard where Dillon was apprehended.
Police were investigating a string of crimes possibly connected to Dillon prior to the burglary.
The most recent assault happened just before 3 p.m., inside of Astoria Liquors on the corner of Steinway Street and Astoria Boulevard. Dillon allegedly slashed the owner, George Patouhas before fleeing the scene. The 55-year-old was rushed to Mount Sinai Astoria Hospital where he died.
Hours before the incident, he allegedly slashed a 39-year-old woman in the face on the sidewalk in front of 25-69 38th St. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Astoria Hospital in critical condition.
Police say Dillon also allegedly sprayed an accelerant and lit a 61-year-old man on fire in Astoria. The victim was taken to Cornell-Presbyterian Hospital where he is in stable condition.
Police sources tell PIX11 Dillon has several prior arrests including graffiti and criminal trespass. Sources also say Dillon may have doused each victim in gasoline.
“This has been a very unusual day here in Astoria,” said NYPD assistant chief Diana Pizzuti, commanding officer of patrol borough Queens North.
The NYPD reports that hundreds of police officers participated in the search for Dillon.