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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Accused Nassau County police officer shooter charged

The maniac charged with murdering a Nassau County cop and an innocent motorist gunned them down because he didn’t want to go back to jail, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The motive for mayhem emerged after ex-con Darrell Fuller was hit with two counts of first degree murder in a Hempstead courtroom packed with glaring cops — and after the NYPD arrested an alleged accomplice.

“He was on parole and he had a weapon,” Assistant District Attorney Mitch Benson said of Fuller’s alleged motive. “These were senseless deaths and my thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family.”

Fuller’s alleged accomplice was identified as 27-year-old Gerard Williams of Queens, who was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Williams had loaned Fuller a car and two weapons, a Tec 9 semi-automatic and a Ruger 9-mm. — and police suspect the ex-con used them to kill Officer Arthur Lopez and Raymond Facey of Brooklyn, a 52-year-old father of four.

“We are awaiting the results of a ballistics test to determine if the Ruger was the murder weapon,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Fuller, his arm in a sling from shooting himself in a botched suicide attempt before his capture, avoided the eyes of the angry cops and Facey’s widow, June, during his brief court appearance.

When the judge asked him if he had a job, Fuller replied, “It’s been a while.”

Fuller, 33, is also charged with one count of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

His Legal Aid lawyer, Brian Shupak, asked that Fuller not be questioned by cops until he finds a defense attorney.

“This is a man who should never see the light of day,” said Nassau County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President James Carver.

Carver noted that when Fuller was brought before the judge, he was wearing the handcuffs Lopez used on the job. And he repeated a question that others have asked since Tuesday’s tragedy: “Why was this violent felon set free?”

Fuller, who served five years for nearly killing another man in a 2004 confrontation over a parking space in Queens, was released from prison in May 2011 after a drug arrest that violated his parole.

The ex-con was still on parole when he was spotted fleeing a hit-and-run accident by Lopez.

Under the terms of Fuller’s release, he was not permitted to have a driver’s license or drive a motor vehicle.

While Fuller was in court, Lopez’s family and friends braced for a grim wake Thursday and Friday at the firehouse in Merrick. Lopez was a volunteer firefighter in Dix Hills.

A funeral is planned for noon Saturday at St. Christopher’s Church in Baldwin.

Lopez, who lived in Babylon, L.I., is expected to be laid to rest in his dress blues, surrounded by other mementoes of a life cut short by madness.

The badge on Lopez’s jacket still bears a black mourning band across the shield for fellow Officer Joseph Olivieri, who was killed while on duty last week.

Lopez’s parents, Mirella and Alfonso, who live in Flushing, Queens, were watched over by Nassau cops while a shrine of flowers, candles and remembrances grew outside their home.

Lopez was killed Tuesday after he stopped Fuller, who was driving a silver 2000 Nissan Altima and allegedly fleeing a hit-and-run accident, on a side street in Bellerose Terrace off the Cross Island Parkway, police said.

Nassau County police require uniformed members on duty to wear department-issued body armor, but Lopez was not wearing a bulletproof vest when he was struck in the chest.

Minutes later, Fuller ambushed Facey, who had just pulled off on the side of the Cross Island Parkway — not far from historic Belmont Park — to take a phone call, police said.

Fuller shot Facey in the face and made off with his car, police said.

Seven hours later, Fuller was found cowering in a stolen van near his home in St. Albans, Queens. Cops said that he shot himself inside the vehicle, and gave up when they approached.

“I’m Fuller — the guy you’re looking for,” he said.

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