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Jamaica man arraigned on attempted murder charges in shooting of rookie cop: DA

Apr. 7, 2023 By Bill Parry

A resident of a Jamaica homeless shelter was criminally charged with attempted murder in the first degree for shooting NYPD rookie Police Officer Brett Boller on Wednesday.

Devin Spraggins, 22, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Friday on a complaint charging him with two counts of attempted murder in the first degree; two counts of attempted murder in the second degree; two counts of assault in the first degree; aggravated assault of a police officer; two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; menacing a police officer,  and obstruction of governmental administration in the second degree.

If convicted, Spraggins faces 40 years to life in prison for each of the attempted murder charges, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

(Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Spraggins was living at the Housing Bridge shelter for the homeless on 93rd Street, police said. According to the charges, on Wednesday, April 5, at approximately 3:20 p.m., Spraggins got into a fight with another passenger on an MTA bus traveling on Jamaica Avenue near 160th Street. The bus driver flagged down NYPD Officer Boller and his partner, Officer Anthony Rock, for assistance.

The officers tried to talk to Spraggins at the front door of the bus, but he pushed Officer Rock and ran off. Boller and Rock chased Spraggins, catching up to him on 161st Street. Spraggins took a gun from his waistband and shot Boller. After the wounded cop fell to the ground, Spraggins continued to point the gun at the officer, took a shooter’s stance, and pointed the weapon toward Officer Rock.

As Rock approached the defendant, he ran into a parking garage. Video surveillance showed him removing his black jacket and sweatshirt and leaving in a white T-shirt.

Detectives found a shell casing near the shooting scene and a magazine loaded with 15 rounds at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 161st Street, where Spraggins was running before the shooting.

Security camera footage showed Spraggins at 161st Street and Hillside Avenue getting into a black Nissan, identified as a Lyft for-hire vehicle, that took him to a residence on 215th Street.

The District Attorney’s office authorized a search warrant for the property yesterday, and a search was conducted at approximately 7 p.m. Information obtained at home led police to an address in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where Spraggins was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force and NYPD detectives at approximately 9 p.m. Spraggins was brought back to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica where he was booked.

Officer Boller, 22, is recovering from his gunshot injuries at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and is expected to need at least one other operation. According to Dr. Gregory Jones, the bullet shattered Boller’s hip and pierced his femoral artery and femoral vein, and in his expert opinion he determined that without surgical intervention, Boller faced a substantial risk of death.

Rock, also a 22-year-old rookie on the force, was not injured during the incident.

“We will not allow our great city to descend into a state of chaos where police officers are fired upon without consequence,” Katz said. “The rule of law and the officers who enforce it must be respected. My partners in law enforcement and I will make sure of it. I applaud the NYPD and federal investigators for their outstanding work in quickly apprehending the suspect.”

Judge Jeffrey Gershuny ordered Spraggins held without bail and ordered him to return to court on April 10.

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