Queens grand jury indicts two in fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller in Far Rockaway: DA

diller indictment
41-year-old Lindy Jones one of two men indicted today for the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller in Far Rockaway last week.
Photo by Dean Moses

A Queens grand jury indicted Guy Rivera and Lindy Jones in connection to the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller in Far Rockaway last week, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Monday.

Rivera was indicted for first-degree murder for the homicide and first-degree attempted murder for attempting to fire his weapon at an NYPD sergeant at the scene. Both defendants were indicted on charges of criminal possession of a weapon after a second firearm was found in the car.

Officer Diller was posthumously promoted to the rank of Detective, First Grade at his funeral on Saturday which drew thousands of police officers from around the country to his hometown of Massapequa Park, Long Island.

Rivera, 34, whose last known address is on Broadway in Woodside, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. He was indicted on charges of first-degree murder for killing Diller and attempted first-degree murder of a sergeant. Rivera and Jones, 42, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Edgemere, were indicted on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and defacing a weapon. Jones faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the current charges, in addition to 15 years on a separate open weapons charge from April 2023.

“The killing of a New York City police officer strikes at the very heart of this city and rattles any sense of security in a civilized society,” Katz said.

According to the charges and statements made in court, on March 25, at approximately 5:40 p.m., an officer on patrol in Far Rockaway saw Rivera with what looked like a gun in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. Rivera and Jones then got into a 2016 Kia Soul parked in front of 19-19 Mott Avenue, with Jones in the driver’s seat. Diller and other officers approached the car and repeatedly asked Rivera to roll down his window before they were able to open the car door. Rivera then removed a gun from his clothing and shot Diller. The officer was struck in the stomach.

After shooting the officer, Rivera aimed his gun at Sergeant Sasha Rosen, who was with Diller. Sergeant Rosen used his hand to direct the gun away from his body. Rivera’s finger remained on the trigger as he tried to point the gun back toward the sergeant. The gun was loaded but jammed following the initial shot and was unable to shoot additional rounds.

Diller was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

“The grand jury has returned several felony charges against these defendants in the death of Detective Jonathan Diller, a dedicated officer, father, husband, and son who lost his life while carrying out his duty to serve and protect the community,” Katz said. “The defendants are alleged to have willfully ignored officers’ repeated commands before Guy Rivera pulled out a gun and shot Detective Diller at almost point-blank range. The senseless gun violence not only took the detective’s life but also endangered another member of the NYPD.”

Members of the DA’s office and the 101st Police Precinct obtained a court-authorized search warrant for the vehicle. The execution of the warrant led to the discovery of a loaded 9 mm pistol inside the glove compartment. The firearm was found to be defaced, with the serial number scratched off.

A review of Jones’ arrest record indicated a prior attempted murder conviction in 2002, elevating one of the present charges against him to criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, up from criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

Jones, who appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris on Monday, was ordered to return to court for arraignment on April 16. Rivera, who remains hospitalized at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the back, is due in court for arraignment on May 7.

“We continue to stand united in seeking justice for the victims, the grieving families, and the entire NYPD community,” Katz said.