Suspect in Elmhurst bomb hoax turns himself in to NYPD

Police officers and FDNY units along Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens on Jan. 4, 2021. (Photo by Dean Moses)

The suspect wanted in connection with the car bomb hoax in the Queens Place Mall parking garage on Monday, turned himself in to the authorities early Tuesday morning, according to law enforcement officials. 

Louis Shenker, 22, called 911 and turned himself into a Brooklyn precinct on Tuesday, Jan. 5, around 3 a.m., after a police investigation into the bomb hoax began the morning prior. 

Shenker, whose last known address was in Amherst, Mass., has yet to be charged in the bomb hoax, which was met with the NYPD’s bomb squad and caused an evacuation of Queens Place Mall on Monday, according to law enforcement officials. 

The bomb scare was first reported around 7:30 a.m., on Monday, Jan. 4, when a black Tesla Model S with Nevada plates, which was allegedly stolen, was spotted with protruding wires inside the Elmhurst mall parking lot, law enforcement officials said. 

Investigating the suspicious vehicle, the NYPD sealed off several blocks around the garage and evacuated both the shopping center and several nearby buildings.  

Several hours later, around 11 a.m., law enforcement officials determined the car was rigged to appear to be a bomb, though it was ultimately found not to be, according to the NYPD. 

Police later discovered a husky dog, which was rescued by officers, inside the car, along with sticks, propane tanks, hot dogs and an assortment of other seemingly random items, according to law enforcement officials. 

Social media posts allegedly authored by Shenker, appear to express right-wing conspiracy sentiments, echoing the recent Christmas Day Nashville bombing, allegedly carried out by Anthony Warner, who is believed to have espoused similar sentiments.

An Instagram account believed to belong to Shenker uses the “StopTheSteal” hashtag in its bio, a hashtag championed by supporters of President Donald Trump – and the president, himself – who falsely believe Trump won the November presidential election.

In a video posted to Twitter by the account Out Live Them NYC, Shenker, who identifies himself by his full name, argues with a Black Lives Matter protester. The video shows Shenker, who appears to be recording the argument as well, threatening to send the video to the popular far-right conspiracy website InfoWars.

“My name is Louis Shenker, L-O-U-I-S S-H-E-N-K-E-R,” the 22-year-old says in the video. “And any f-king communist anit-Semite piece of sh-t who thinks that America is going to become a communist nation…” he says before the video ends.

The office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz has not responded to QNS’ request for comment.

The investigation is ongoing.