Queens cop killed: Alleged shooter hit with first-degree murder charge for slaying of Police Officer Jonathan Diller

Police officers at Queens scene where Police Officer Jonathan Diller was killed on March 25, 2024.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday that the alleged shooter who killed Police Officer Jonathan Diller on Monday afternoon has been hit with a first-degree murder charge punishable by life imprisonment without parole upon conviction.

Guy Rivera, 34, was booked Thursday nearly three days after allegedly pulling the trigger on Diller after being stopped on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway on the afternoon of March 25. Rivera wound up being shot in a return of fire, and was hospitalized at Jamaica Hospital following the shooting.

Diller, 31, died on Monday night at Jamaica Hospital after sustaining a fatal gunshot wound to his abdomen, just below the bulletproof vest he wore. The three-year NYPD veteran left behind a wife and infant son — something that was not lost on Katz in announcing the charges against Rivera Thursday.

“Police Officer Diller was a father, husband and son simply doing his job to serve and protect. He was killed for it,” Katz said in a March 28 statement. “As alleged, the defendant opened fire and took the officer’s life, and tried to shoot another member of th NYPD. We will not rest until we have achieved justice for Officer Diller, his family, and his brothers and sisters in the NYPD who put their lives on the line to protect us.”

Police Officer Jonathan Diller
Police Officer Jonathan Diller was killed in the line of duty in Queens on March 25, 2024.Photo courtesy of NYPD

Rivera, who had resided on Broadway in Woodside, had previously served six years in prison after being convicted in 2016 of criminal possession of a controlled substance. During his time behind bars, he was additional convicted of a hate crime for throwing feces and urine at correctional officers, according to police sources.

The bloodshed unfolded at about 5:40 p.m. on March 25, when Diller and his partner, Sergeant Sasha Rosen, both of the Patrol Borough Queens South Community Response Team observed a Kia Soul illegally parked at bus stop in front of 19-19 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway.

Rivera and a second suspect, Lindy Jones, 41, were inside the vehicle at the time; police sources later said they suspects, based on information they obtained during their ongoing investigation, may have been plotting a robbery.

When Diller approached the car, according to the criminal complaint, Rivera — who sat in the front passenger seat — allegedly pulled out a handgun from his clothing and shot Diller.

The suspect then took aim at Sergeant Rosen, who used his hand to direct the gun away from him, prosecutors said. While Rivera’s finger remained on the trigger, he was unable to fire the weapon, as it had jammed.

Police officers escort body of slain cop Jonathan Diller in Queens
Police escort the body of fallen Officer Jonathan Diller, covered in the NYPD flag, at Jamaica Hospital on March 26, 2024. Photo by Dean Moses

Rivera wound up being shot in the back in response, police reported. NYPD officials said that Diller, despite being wounded, managed to “stay in the fight” and grabbed hold of the suspect’s weapon.

Police later searched the Kia Soul and recovered a loaded 9mm pistol inside the glove compartment, which was found to be defaced and having the serial number scratched off. On Wednesday, Jones — who had been taken into custody following Monday’s shooting — was officially booked on weapons possession charges.

River was due to appear in Queens Criminal Court for arraignment by no later than Friday, March 29. In addition to the first-degree murder charge, he was further booked on charges of second-degree murder, first- and second degree attempted murder, four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; and an additional third-degree weapons charge.

The charges come as the NYPD and Diller’s family were due to attend his wake in Massapequa Park. Diller’s funeral Mass is on Saturday, March 30, also in Massapequa, where the slain officer lived.