Man sentenced to 25 years to life for attempted murder of 4 Nassau County police officers

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, January 28, 2022
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Stacey Sager has more on the sentencing from Mineola.

NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- A man from Long Island was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for opening fire on police officers in Nassau County.

Duane Costa, 40, of Uniondale, was convicted of four counts of attempted murder in the first degree, one count of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

He was convicted on December 16 by Judge Patricia Harrington after opting for a bench trial.

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The incident happened just before 1 a.m. on October 28, 2018, after police say Costa ran away from a traffic stop.

He was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for turning without signaling, and officers reported smelling alcohol, observing Costa not wearing a seatbelt and adjusting an object in his waistband.

Officers ordered the driver and Costa out of the car, which is when they say Costa took off running.

As he fled, he pulled out another gun and fired shots at the officers pursuing him.

"Duane Costa fired at least two rounds directly at officers' heads from less than 10 feet away as they pursued him down the streets of Hempstead, and he continued firing as additional officers joined the chase," District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. "Police officers around the country put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, knowing that it could mean they don't return home to their families. I will always support our police, and when there is violence against a member of law enforcement we will ensure that the defendant is held responsible for their crimes."

The bullets narrowly missed officers as they pursued Costa, who was eventually taken into custody.

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No officers were hurt.

Costa denied any wrongdoing before he was sentenced, and he referenced the recent fatal shooting of two NYPD officers in Harlem.

"It's a shame," he said. "We're being shot at. We're being killed. The two officers that got killed, they're turning over in their graves right now. It's a lie just to get publicity."

The Nassau County district attorney said it was a shame that he was allowed to invoke the officers' names in the courtroom.

"He should not be speaking about police officers after trying to kill four of our police officers," district attorney Anne Donnelly said.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder agreed and said he doesn't want Costa to ever address or speak to his detectives who saved his life that day.

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