ST. ALBANS, Queens — An off-duty city correction officer was fatally shot in Queens early Saturday morning, officials said.
The 28-year-old victim was shot in the head and torso near Ridgedale and Defoe streets in St. Albans around 3:05 a.m., police said.
“Our entire department is grieving upon learning of the tragic death of an off-duty correction officer who was fatally shot in Queens last night,” DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann said in a statement to PIX11. “My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to our officer’s family, friends and colleagues throughout the department and we are doing all we can to provide support during this difficult time.”
The victim has been identified as 28-year-old John Jeff by Benny Boscio, Jr., president of the Corrections Officers Benevolent Association. He issued a statement on Jeff’s passing.
“[Jeff] was well-liked and highly regarded by his fellow officers. While the police continue to investigate this horrific incident, which is being investigated as a homicide, our hearts and prayers are with Correction Officer Jeff’s family and his fellow officers at AMKC during this painful time. We are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of Correction Officer Jeff’s assailant or assailants.”
Jeff had been on the job for just over two years, Boscio added.
The suspect reportedly took the officer’s gun before fleeing the scene, according to the Daily News.
The Department of Correction is cooperating with the NYPD in its investigation.
The shooting was one of at least eight that occurred citywide between midnight and about 8:30 a.m., according to police. Another 12 shootings were reported between midnight Friday and midnight Saturday.
Shooting incidents across the five boroughs are up 78.8% so far this year compared to the same time period in 2019, according to NYPD data.