Reward increased, new photos of suspect wanted in shooting of rookie NYPD officer in Queens

Janice Yu Image
Friday, April 7, 2023
Reward increased to find suspect in shooting of rookie officer
Police have increased the reward and released new photos to help find the man they say fired a single shot at the rookie NYPD officer. Jim Dolan has the latest details.

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- The NYPD has increased the reward and released new photos to help find the man they say shot a rookie NYPD officer in Queens who responded to an altercation on a bus.

Officer Brett Boller, 22, was shot in the hip on Wednesday and underwent surgery at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he is still recovering Thursday.

He is not expected to be released from the hospital for days -- likely not until next week -- but is expected to make a full recovery.

One of the bones that connects his hip to his leg was shattered in the shooting and damaged his femoral artery, the main blood vessel to his leg. He's listed in stable condition, but now faces months of rehabilitation of his right leg.

The shooting sparked a frantic race to the hospital. In cell phone video circulating in the department, the wounded officer is seen lying on his back on the sidewalk, surrounded by other officers tying a tourniquet around his leg.

At least five officers then lifted him into a police van, which raced away with multiple police vehicles following. A civilian in the video retrieved what appears to be the officer's hat and gave it to another officer.

Another video showed the police van racing the wrong way down 161st Street. Blocked at one point by a double parked vehicle, someone jumped behind the wheel of the car and throws it in reverse, quickly moving it out of the way, with the drivers' side door still open.

The gunman remains at large and a manhunt is underway. Police have increased a reward for his capture up to $20,000. That includes up to $3,500 payable by CrimeStoppers upon arrest and indictment and $6,500 payable by the NYPD upon arrest and conviction and $10,000 payable by the Cop Shot Foundation upon arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Also aiding in that effort are new close-up photos of the suspected gunman's face. Another picture shows a distinctive tattoo that says, "Jocelyn."

The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when an MTA bus driver on Jamaica Avenue flagged down two officers and told them a man was arguing with another passenger over a seat.

When police officers approached the bus, the man attempted to exit the bus and a struggle started. The man allegedly shoved the officers out of the way and fled down 161st Street.

Boller was able to catch up to the suspect who turned and fired a single shot, striking the officer in the hip, according to Chief of Detectives James Essig.

His partner then fired two shots back at the suspect who continued to flee into a nearby parking garage.

Anthony Carlo has more from the hospital where the injured cop was taken after he was shot in Queens.

Investigators recovered a black bubble jacket, orange sweatshirt, and black mask that the suspect was wearing at the time.

Surveillance video shows the suspect exiting the parking garage wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. He was last seen at 161st Street and Hillside Avenue.

The man who was arguing with the gunman is being questioned by police, but so far no arrests have been made.

Boller is from Hauppauge and just graduated in December and his father is a detective in Brooklyn.

He graduated from Happaugue High School in 2018 as a star athlete.

"He was a three sport athlete and he captained many of the teams," said Happaugue School District Dr. Don Murphy. "He's a young man. So it's devastating to our community to learn."

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