PO Diller Killed After Far Rock Traffic Stop

 PO Diller Killed After Far Rock Traffic Stop

By Katie McFadden

On Monday, March 25, 31-year-old NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller said goodbye to his wife, Stephanie, and his one-year-old son at his Massapequa home, to head into another day of protecting New York City. By Monday evening, that wife became a widow, and that baby lost his father. Officer Diller was shot during a vehicle stop on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, and later succumbed to his injuries, leaving his family, friends and a city in mourning.

Officer Diller joined the NYPD in 2021 and had more than 70 arrests in his short career. Working out of a satellite of the 105th Precinct and a member of the NYPD Patrol Borough Queens South’s Community Response Team, Diller was doing the job he was assigned to do, scoping out shady vehicles and addressing quality of life issues that frequently plague the city. Just before 6 p.m., Diller and his partner approached a vehicle that had been parked in a bus stop at 19-19 Mott Ave. Inside the Kia Soul were driver, Lindy Jones, 41, and passenger, Guy Rivera, 34. When asked to exit the vehicle, Rivera allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Officer Diller instead. The bullet entered Diller’s torso, beneath his bullet-proof vest. Diller’s partner returned fire, striking Rivera in the back. Rivera dropped his weapon, and despite his injury, fighting ‘til the end, Diller managed to grab the gun before Rivera could retrieve it.

Led by an escort, Diller was quickly transported to Jamaica Hospital to be treated and undergo emergency surgery. Doctors did all they could, but a few hours later, Mayor Eric Adams spoke at a press conference where he revealed that Jonathan Diller succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind devastated parents, a wife and a one-year-old son.

The shooting occurred just a few buildings down from the offices of Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers and Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson.

“My heart hurts for the young widow and family that lost their loved one tonight. Police Officer Jonathan Diller woke up today and left home with intentions to protect and serve, but most of all an intention to return home,” Brooks-Powers said. “Unfortunately, due to one single horrific act, his life was cut short. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones and members of our community who witnessed this cowardly act.”

“Officer Diller has become another victim of senseless, pointless violence that plagues our streets,” Anderson, said. “Our deepest condolences and prayers are with his widow, young child and family during this time.”

After the shooting, it was discovered that suspected shooter, Guy Rivera, has 21 prior arrests, nine of which are felonies. He was last released from prison in September 2021 after serving nearly five years for criminal sale of a controlled substance. In October 2014, he had been released after serving three years for assault. The driver, Jones, also had more than 20 previous arrests, the last being a weapons possession charge in April 2023, after police found a loaded pistol in his vehicle that was parked on Beach 47th Street. In a press event on Tuesday, Adams pointed these facts out saying, “Recidivism is a real issue.”

By Wednesday, Jones had been charged with weapon possession and possession of a defaced firearm after another gun was found in his vehicle. Charges against Rivera, who remained in the hospital, were still pending.

Meanwhile, a grieving city is rallying around the Diller family and the NYPD, trying to provide whatever support they can in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy. Early Tuesday, a memorial was set up outside of the 101st Precinct, just a few blocks from where Officer Diller was shot. By Tuesday night, the memorial was full of flowers and candles left by the community. Rockaway’s FDNY Big House, Engine 264, Engine 328 and Ladder 134, located right near where Diller was shot, placed a blue line on their trucks and had been providing meals to the officers of the 101st Precinct in support.

Friends of the Diller family have also established a GoFundMe to help support the family. By press time, more than $300K had been raised. Donations can be made at: www.gofundme.com/f/police-officer-jonathan-diller

A vigil was held in Massapequa on Wednesday night. Another is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 1 at NYPD Patrol Borough South (71-01 Parsons Blvd., Queens).

Arrangements for Officer Diller are taking place on Long Island. Visitation is being held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 at Massapequa Funeral Home South Chapel (4980 Merrick Road, Massapequa). The funeral Mass is being held at St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church (2 Bayview Avenue, Massapequa). Diller will be interned at St. Charles/Resurrection Cemetery in Farmingdale after the funeral.

Our thoughts are with Officer Jonathan Diller’s loved ones and the NYPD.

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