The career criminal suspected of shooting an off-duty NYPD cop during a botched robbery will be charged with attempted murder, police officials said Tuesday, with the charges being upgraded if the gravely injured officer is pronounced dead.
Randy “Popper” Jones, 38, was taken back to Brooklyn on Monday after police tracked him down at a Rockland County hotel.
“He fled, but he couldn’t escape our reach,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a press conference. “In less than 46 hours, he was handcuffed by an NYPD detective assigned to the US Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force.
“The victim, in this case, is an NYPD officer,” Sewell said. “But we will relentlessly pursue anyone who carries in firearms or shoots someone in this city.”
Meanwhile, the critically injured officer, married father of two Adeed Fayaz, 26, remained on life support at Brookdale Hospital after being shot Saturday evening after responding to a Facebook Marketplace ad for a car in East New York with his brother-in-law.
His family gathered at the hospital on Tuesday as the cop clung to life, while other members of New York’s Finest consoled relatives and stood guard.
Police sources said doctors would be checking again for brain activity and that the officer could be taken off life support as early as Tuesday.
At a press conference, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig announced the expected charges against Jones, describing how the suspected cop shooter ambushed Fayaz and his brother-in-law after the two showed up to buy a Honda Pilot he was allegedly selling for $24,000 on Facebook.
“[Jones] then jokingly asked, ‘Are you guys carrying a gun?'” “Both men said no,” Essig told reporters Tuesday morning.
“At this time on perpetrator grabs [Fayaz] in a headlock, points the gun at his head and demands the money,” Essig said.
“Our officer states he doesn’t have the money, at which time the perpetrator points the firearm at the brother-in-law,” Essig said. “Police Officer Fayaz is able to break free at which time the male fired, striking him in the head. The officer’s brother-in-law removes the firearm from our officer’s hip and returns fire at least six times.
“Our perpetrator jumps into the driver’s seat of a black auto and speeds off.”
Police found the black BMW SUV that Jones allegedly fled in — and which sources said is registered in his mother’s name — at 129th Street and Park Avenue.
Essig said Jones was with his girlfriend when he was tracked down to the Nanuet hotel — and taken into custody using Fayaz’s handcuffs, Essig confirmed.
Jones has tattoos of a vine and a rose on his neck, praying hands on a Bible on his arm, and inscribed on his arm are the words, “If you stand for everything, you’ll stand forever.”
Essig said his criminal record includes a 2014 domestic bust for strangulation, and sources said he was being sought on a 2019 warrant for driving without a license.
His rap sheet lists 22 busts, including for grand larceny, harassment and strangulation, sources previously told The Post.
Crime scene cops on Tuesday scoured the Harlem apartment where Jones lived with his girlfriend and the couple’s four children, looking for evidence, building residents said.
The couple’s dog had to be removed in a cage so that police could get inside.
“Detectives said they’d get the miscreant who shot our brother officer — and now he needs to spend the rest of his cowardly life in a jail cell,” Paul DiGiacomo, president of the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association, said in a statement Tuesday.
“There was nowhere this vicious criminal could hide as his world closed in on him due to every detective tirelessly working this investigation,” he said. “There will be justice.”
NYPD Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, in a statement Tuesday, credited cops with “painstakingly piecing this case together.
“Now is the time for the justice system to step up and deliver consequences,” Lynch said. “It needs to send a message to anyone else who would attack police officers or innocent New Yorkers. Too many victims have already been let down by the system.
“It cannot let down our brother and his family.”