NYPD: Man who shot two cops in Queens entered US illegally

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In East Elmhurst, Queens, a man accused of shooting two police officers in New York City early Monday is a migrant who entered the U.S. illegally last year, according to the NYPD.

The suspect, identified by police as 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro-Mata, is originally from Venezuela.

Castro-Mata was allegedly driving a scooter the wrong way down a one-way street in East Elmhurst when the officers attempted to pull him over, as per the NYPD.

He abandoned the scooter and fled from the officers before opening fire, shooting the two officers, police reported.

Here’s what we know about Castro-Mata so far.

Castro-Mata crossed into the U.S. at Eagle Pass, Texas, last July, according to NYPD Det. Joseph Kenny. He is currently residing at a migrant shelter located at 90-10 Ditmars Blvd. in East Elmhurst.

Castro-Mata has no previous arrests in New York City, but he is suspected of being involved in several robberies related to motorized scooters, Kenny mentioned. The NYPD believes Castro-Mata did not act alone and is part of a group that uses scooters to commit crimes.

“We’re looking at him for several other robbery patterns in the Queens area where he does have other co-defendants,” Kenny stated during a briefing Monday morning.

In one particular incident, Castro-Mata is suspected of assaulting a woman and stealing her credit card, the NYPD mentioned. The credit card was later utilized at a Queens smoke shop.

Castro-Mata was also injured during the exchange of gunfire with the officers, according to the police. He underwent ankle surgery on Monday morning at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens.

The gun allegedly used by Castro-Mata in the shooting was illegal, the NYPD reported. It was found at the scene.

The officers who were shot were expected to recover, police stated. Both officers were treated and released from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst on Monday morning.

Justin Finch
Justin Finch
Digital Reporter.

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