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‘He could not evade our reach’: Suspect cuffed in Queens cop shooting

Apr. 7, 2023 By Dean Moses

Top NYPD brass gathered inside police headquarters on Friday — less than 48 hours after a rookie cop was shot in Queens — to declare the alleged gunman had been cuffed Thursday evening.

Devin Spraggins of the Bronx appeared unapologetic while being escorted out of the 103rd Precinct stationhouse in Jamaica. He flipped his middle finger at awaiting press photographers while detectives led him down the stairs for his perp walk.

Spraggins is accused of shooting 22-year-old Brett Boller, who just joined the NYPD three months ago, during a pursuit chase on April 5. The officer suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, but is expected to recover.

Immediately after the shooting, Mayor Eric Adams and top cop Keechant Sewell pledged to apprehend the shooter — and officers succeeded in their mission Thursday with the assistance of U.S. marshals.

“Today we are announcing the arrest of a 22-year-old Queens man for the shooting of an NYPD officer earlier this week,” Police Commissioner Sewell said. “He could not evade our reach. Less than 30 hours after the shooting, he was tracked down to the Bronx and arrested. He will now be held to account.”

“Today we are announcing the arrest of a 22-year-old Queens man for the shooting of an NYPD officer earlier this week,” Police Commissioner Sewell said. photo by Dean Moses

According to Chief of Detectives James Essig, the regional task force descended upon the Wakefield, Bronx apartment of Spraggins at around 9 p.m. on April 6.

Essig explained that detectives were able to track Spraggins through video surveillance and identify him through social media which first led them to 102-16 215th Street in Queens Village. Although Spraggins was not home when law enforcement conducted a search warrant, they found clothing—such as footwear—and other items that led them to 4578 Bronx Blvd., where members of the regional task force arrested the alleged gunman without incident.

A 9 mm handgun that is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting was also recovered during the apprehension.

The shooting occurred after a bus driver flagged down NYPD officers near 161st Street and 89th Avenue as two passengers began having a heated argument after one man accused the other of “staring” at him.

As police tried to board the bus, Spraggins apparently pushed by officers and fled the scene. Boller, son of a police inspector, chased Spraggins when the suspect allegedly shot Boller in the hip, requiring immediate surgery.

According to Chief of Detectives James Essig, the regional task force descended upon the Wakefield, Bronx apartment of accused shooter Devin Spraggins at around 9 p.m. on April 6. Photo by Dean Moses

Spraggins is described by police as being a “transient,” a person constantly on the move, and does not have a criminal record, making this his first offense. Police are still looking into the reason why Spraggins was allegedly carrying the firearm. The man Spraggins reportedly argued with was also taken into custody for questioning but was ultimately released.

Spraggins is charged with attempted murder of a police officer in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon and a loaded firearm in the second degree, and obstructed governmental administration.

“This was a job extremely well done. At this hour, the subject remains in NYPD custody and is expected to be charged later today. New Yorkers we are in this together every day and night. I want to thank the public for the information they have provided to assist in this investigation,” Commissioner Sewell said.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

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