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Police Say an Illegal Immigrant From Venezuela Shoots and Kills Two New York City Police Officers During a Foot Chase in Queens


Two police officers in New York City were shot early Monday morning while following a suspect, who they say is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela. They were looking into a pattern of thefts involving suspects on scooters.

At around 1:45 a.m., the shooting took place at the corner of 89th Street and 23rd Avenue in Queens’ Elmhurst area.

As the suspect tried to run away on foot, two officers from the 115th Precinct’s public safety unit tried to pull over a male suspect who was driving a scooter the wrong way. During the foot chase, the suspect shot at the two police officers, who shot back.

The first cop was shot in the hip area of his bulletproof vest. The second officer was shot in the leg. Both cops were taken to hospitals quickly and are expected to get better.

At a news conference from Elmhurst Hospital, New York City Mayor Eric Adams held up a wounded officer’s bulletproof vest and pointed to a hole in the front. “Every day, New Yorkers are not wearing this,” he said.

Adams said, “This is what we fight every day.” He called the shooting a “senseless act of violence” and a “total disregard for life.”

He was also taken to the hospital after being shot in the right ankle. The individual who shot the person was caught illegally having a gun, according to the police.

Man from Venezuela named Bernardo Raul Castro Mata, 19, was recognized as the suspect. Police say he came to the United States illegally through Eagle Pass, Texas, in July 2023. Fox News was told by NYPD sources that Castro Mata was freed in Texas and given a court date in the future. However, he left the area and went to New York City.

Police say Castro Mata was living in a building in Queens that used to be a Courtyard Marriott hotel but is now being used as a home for migrants.

Castro Mata has never been arrested in New York City before, but cops say they are looking into several robberies that happened in and around the city, including some that happened in Queens recently.

Castro Mata is accused of taking wallets, purses, and other things before riding off quickly on his moped.

The source said that the two NYPD cops knew Mata from early Monday and tried to stop him on the scooter before the shooting happened.

The cop who was hurt has been with the department for five years, and the officer who was hurt has been there for more than two years.

The head of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, Patrick Hendry, said that the two cops “put their lives on the line to keep New Yorkers safe.”

“The one police officer who was shot in the vest cared more about his partner getting a tourniquet to save his life,” Hendry said at the news conference. “That’s what partners do in the NYPD; they save each other’s lives.”

Both cops were let out of the hospital later Monday morning, which made their fellow officers cheer.

Police say that scooters and motorcycles are being used all over the city to commit crimes like shootings, robberies, and phone thefts. The government says that these trends have become much more common over the last three years.

Police said there were no trends of scooter thefts from January 1 to June 1, 2022. In the same time period in 2023, there were 20 of these trends. Police said there were more than 80 of these things happen between January 1, 2024, and June 1, 2024.

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