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Alleged cop-shooter surrenders in South Jamaica

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John Thomas, the suspected cop-shooter police have been searching for over the last month, turned himself over to the authorities Sunday evening, the NYPD said.

Thomas, who was wanted in connection with the shooting of Sgt. Craig Bier in South Jamaica Aug. 8, was accompanied by his lawyer as he surrendered to NYPD detectives around 7 p.m. in the Pep Boys parking lot at Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, police said.

He was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault, according to the police.

The NYPD said Thomas had 17 prior arrests, including weapon and drug charges.

Thomas had been wanted since mid-August when, according to authorities, Bier and his partner attempted to stop the 24-year old from Richmond Hill as he rode his bicycle near the South Jamaica Houses. When the officers tried to stop Thomas, he took off with Bier in pursuit, police said.

A shoot-out then broke out, with Thomas allegedly firing four times — striking Bier in both legs — and the sergeant firing six shots, according to the police.

Bier was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was treated for his wounds and released a few days later.

The day after the shooting, the NYPD identified Thomas as the suspect and announced a $22,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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