Woodside man indicted on first-degree murder of Det. Jonathan Diller in Far Rockaway: DA

Guy Rivera was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on Tuesday morning after he was indicted on first-degree murder for fatally shooting Det. Jonathan Diller in Far Rockaway in March.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

The Woodside man who is accused in the fatal shooting of NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller was indicted by a Queens grand jury and arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on Tuesday morning.

Guy Rivera, 34, whose last known address is on Broadway in Woodside, is criminally charged with first-degree murder for gunning down Det. Diller and first-degree attempted murder for attempting to fire at an NYPD sergeant in Far Rockaway on Mar. 25. Rivera, along with co-defendant Lindy Jones of Edgemere, was also indicted on weapons charges.

Rivera faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

“Detective Diller was shot and killed while trying to rid our streets of illegal weapons, a lawless act that was an affront to a civilized society,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

According to the charges and statements made in court, at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 25, an NYPD officer on patrol in Far Rockaway saw Rivera with what appeared to be a gun in the front pocket of his sweatshirt as he exited a store with Jones. Rivera and Jones then got into a 2016 Kia Soul parked illegally at a bus stop in front of 19-19 Mott Ave., with Jones in the driver’s seat.

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

Diller and other officers approached the car and repeatedly ordered Rivera to lower his window before they were able to open the car door. Rivera then pulled out the handgun and shot Diller, striking him in the stomach below his bulletproof vest. After shooting Diller, Rivera then aimed his gun at NYPD Sergeant Saha Rosen, who was with Diller. Rosen used his hand to direct the firearm away from his body. Rivera’s finger remained on the trigger as he tried to point the .380-caliber pistol back toward the sergeant. The gun was loaded but jammed following the initial shot, and was unable to fire additional rounds.

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

Diller was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. He was 31 years old with three years on the job and left behind his wife Stephanie and their 1-year-old son.

Detective Diller’s wife and son at his funeral. Photo by Dean Moses

“His tragic death is a painful reminder that we must never let up in our quest to get these guns and those who use them off our streets,” Katz said. “We are grateful that the grand jury returned serious charges against the defendant. Our thoughts are with Detective Diller’s family, friends and colleagues as they continue to grieve. We will seek justice for him.”

Fallen NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller was posthumously promoted to Detective first grade during his emotional Long Island funeral as thousands of cops and civilians gathered to bid their final farewells. Photo by Dean Moses

Rivera was shot in the back by Diller’s partner, so his arraignment Tuesday was the first time he appeared in court in person. Earlier appearances were by closed circuit video from his hospital room. Rivera pleaded not guilty in a courtroom that was packed with Diller’s family, friends and NYPD colleagues.

“We hope that this vicious, violent, cop killer took a good look at the crowds in that courtroom because he’s going to see us every time he comes to court,” vowed Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry on the steps of the Queens Criminal Courthouse in Kew Gardens.

Rivera was remanded into custody and was ordered to return to court on July 22. His co-defendant Lindy Jones, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Edgemere was arraigned on Apr. 16 on charges of criminal possession of a weapon after members of the Queens District Attorney’s office and the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway 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. Jones was also remanded into custody and faces up to 30 years in prison. He is due back in court on June 12.

“They thought they were going to get away with it. But they didn’t count on our hero police officer Jonathan Diller, going into that scene and fighting to get that gun away from him. And he fought to the end, even though he was shot,” Hendry said, backed by dozens of Diller’s NYPD colleagues. “They didn’t count on these police officers behind me responding to that scene. They didn’t count on these police officers responding every single time to their court hearings to make sure that these violent cop killers stay behind bars where they belong.”