Cops hunt incognito shooter

Police tape remains on 77th Street in Jackson Heights, a day after police say a man (inset) shot at police. Photo by Christina Santucci, inset courtesy NYPD
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Police were asking for the public’s help in catching a man who tried to murder two officers Friday afternoon in Jackson Heights as City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) called for more police protection in the area.

Police were notified about a man acting suspiciously and wearing a trench coat, fake beard, sunglasses and a hat hanging around 37th Road and 76th Street in Jackson Heights around 4 p.m. Friday, authorities said.

When two officers asked the man for identification, he took his hands out of his pockets, pulled out a gun and fired twice at the cops before running southbound on 77th Street, police said.

The officers then chased the man and, although they could not catch him, were able to recover the fake beard, hat and glasses during a foot pursuit, police said.

The two officers were not injured in the incident, police said.

Peter Rivera, a salon owner near the intersection of the shooting, said he heard the gunshots but did not see the suspect.

“Maybe he saw too many reruns of ‘Taxi Driver,’” Rivera said. “That whole suicide by cop doesn’t sound too fun.”

Dromm called on additional police protection in wake of the incident.

“I am demanding action,” he said in a statement released shortly after the shots were fired. “I am calling for additional police protection and constructive police outreach to our immigrant communities, The best policing occurs when the community is involved. But law enforcement is just one part of the solution.”

The suspect was described as a man in his 30s about 5-foot-9 with a thin build.

Police said he was well-dressed and wore a black trench coat during the attack.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips at or texting tips to 274637 and entering TIP577.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 1:09 am, December 8, 2011
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