Police Officer Arthur Lopez

Police Officer Arthur Lopez

Nassau County Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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Arthur Lopez

Police Officer Arthur Lopez was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue.

Officer Lopez and his partner observed a vehicle they believed had been involved in the hit-and-run accident near the border of Nassau County and New York City. The officers followed the vehicle into Queens, where they conducted a vehicle stop. The subject opened fire on the officers after they approached and exchanged words. Officer Lopez, who was not wearing a vest, was struck in the chest. The subject then fled in his vehicle. He abandoned his vehicle and carjacked a citizen, fatally shooting the driver.

Officer Lopez was transported to North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The subject was arrested several hours later and was suffering two self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was identified as a former convict who had served four years for attempted murder. He was subsequently arrested, charged and convicted with two counts of first-degree murder for murdering Officer Lopez and the civilian. He was subsequently sentenced to life without parole. He died in prison in 2019.

A second subject was arrested and charged in connection with providing the subject with the firearm used to commit the murders.

Officer Lopez had served with the Nassau County Police Department for eight years and was assigned to the Emergency Services Unit.

Bio

  • Age 29
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 2232

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Died in 2019

traffic stop

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The gunman, who killed Nassau cop and parkway driver, dies in prison, officials say

Posted December 30, 2019 on Newsday

A cop killer who went to prison for life after his conviction in the 2012 murders of Nassau police Officer Arthur Lopez and a motorist from Brooklyn is dead after spending about seven years behind bars for the slayings.
The gunman, 40, died Dec. 9 while in custody at maximum-security Elmira Correctional Facility, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s the convict’s death remains under investigation but “is not considered to be suspicious,” State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said Monday.

Authorities pronounced the convict dead at 7:25 a.m. on Dec. 9 after he received emergency medical care at the prison, a state corrections spokeswoman said Monday.

Investigators still are awaiting the official cause of death from the convict’s autopsy, according to authorities. Sources said he was found unresponsive in his cell.

Along with State Police, the state corrections department’s Office of Special Investigations and the state Commission of Correction also are looking into the prisoner’s custody death, law enforcement officials said. Testimony during the convict's trial showed he was a dialysis patient.

A judge called the gunman “a menace to society” and “despicable” while sentencing the Queens man to life in prison without parole after a Nassau jury in 2014 convicted him of crimes including first-degree murder.

Charo Lopez, the slain officer’s sister, said learning of the convict’s death made for an emotional day, punctuated by a feeling of relief, some tears and calls to family members.

“It brought back the entire trial, the murders, losing my brother, the burial, everything," she said Monday. "But as a family, we’re thankful that we don’t have to go through anything else.”

Lopez, 48, added that the convict’s death meant her family didn’t have to be afraid anymore that he ever would be set free on appeal. “We had evidence, everywhere. But still, you have that fear, as a human,” she said.

She added she wasn’t glad that another person was dead. “Regardless of what his actions are, I’m a Catholic. I believe in God and I believe in my morals," Lopez said. "He was wrong, yes. But like Mahatma Gandhi said, an eye for an eye makes the world blind.”

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder reacted to the convict’s death by saying Monday that the man had murdered Lopez and motorist Raymond Facey “in cold blood.”

“I will continue, along with the members of the Nassau County Police Department, to always keep the Lopez and Facey families in our thoughts and prayers," the commissioner said. "As far as the convict goes, I will not give him a second thought as he showed no regard for life. Good riddance.”

The convict’s family couldn’t be reached by phone Monday.

The gunman fired a bullet into Lopez’s heart on Oct. 23, 2012, during a traffic stop at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue at the Nassau-Queens border.

The shooting happened after Lopez and his partner pursued the gunman when he fled from a crash shortly after leaving a hospital where he’d had a dialysis treatment.

Lopez, then 29 and part of the police force’s Emergency Service Unit, approached the hit-and-run suspect with his Taser out, according to trial testimony. But the gunman shot Lopez before fleeing a short distance on the Cross Island Parkway.

The gunman then shot and carjacked Facey, 58, a construction worker and Jamaican immigrant who had pulled over to speak to his daughter on his cellphone about a family vacation.

The Nassau district attorney’s office said during the gunman’s trial that he fled the crash while on parole and in possession of a loaded gun — an offense that would have sent him back to prison after he had served time for attempted murder.

The gunman orchestrated his own shooting to try to look like a third victim in the case while on the run after shooting Lopez and Facey, prosecutors said during his trial.

Some of the prosecution's evidence included video of the gunman inside a Queens preschool, where he hid for part of the time he tried to elude police, along with testimony from six eyewitnesses who picked him out of a lineup.

Police also found Facey’s DNA on clothing they recovered from the gunman at the hospital where he went for gunshot wound treatment before his arrest.

Tests showed the same gun was used in all three shootings and police recovered the murder weapon in a car linked to one of the gunman’s friends.

Last year an appellate court upheld the gunman’s convictions for murder, robbery and weapon possession.

In an appeal, Garden City Park attorney Alan Katz had argued in part that prosecutors hadn’t established a proper chain of custody for DNA blood evidence and that some DNA test results had been disclosed too late.

Katz said Monday that he hadn’t had any contact with the gunman recently and declined to comment upon hearing of his death.

“Our thoughts are with the families of Detective Arthur Lopez and Raymond Facey,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Monday.

Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James McDermott said Monday that “after a few years of a life behind bars, the gunman must now account for his actions before a different judge.”

He added: “The Nassau County PBA has no comment on his death, rather, we will forever remember the courage of Nassau County Detective Lopez and his family, and hope that the gunman’s death brings the loved ones of Arthur Lopez and Raymond Facey much-overdue closure.”

Lopez, who had lived in Babylon Village, was an eight-year veteran of the police force and posthumously promoted to detective.

A bridge in Bellerose that spans the Cross Island Parkway near where the gunman shot him was renamed in the slain officer’s honor in 2015.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

December 30, 2019

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