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Suspect In Shooting Of Off-Duty NYPD Officer Arrested Using Slain Hero’s Handcuffs

Nanuet, NY – The gunman accused of fatally shooting an off-duty New York police officer during a botched robbery over the weekend was arrested on Monday using the fallen officer’s handcuffs.

New York Police Officer Adeed Fayaz, 26, was still fighting for his life at a hospital on Feb. 6 when the U.S. Marshals Regional Task Force tracked the alleged gunman down at a motel in Nanuet, WNBC reported.

The suspect, 38-year-old Randy “Popper” Jones, was taken into custody using Officer Fayaz’s own handcuffs, according to police.

“We wanted him to know what he did to that officer and that officer’s cuffs were on him,” New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives James Essig told WNBC. “I think it sends a powerful message.”

Officer Fayaz succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell confirmed later that evening.

“Police Officer Adeed Fayaz was a father, a husband, a son, and a protector of our great city,” Commissioner Sewell tweeted. “Officer Fayaz was shot Saturday night and he tragically succumbed to his injuries today. Our Department deeply mourns his passing, and his family and loved ones are in our prayers.”

New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the slain officer’s wife and their two young children were by his bedside at the hospital when he was removed from life support, according to the New York Post.

“If you’re fortunate enough to have children, imagine their father never coming home again,” Lynch told WABC. “They’ll never be okay from this.”

Police said the 26-year-old officer and his brother-in-law went to a location in the 400-block of Ruby Street near Linden Boulevard at approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 to pick up a vehicle he had arranged to purchase for $24,000 from a seller through Facebook Marketplace, WABC reported.

Chief Essig said Jones acted as if he was joking around soon after he met up with Officer Fayaz and his brother-in-law by asking if either of them was carrying a gun, CNN reported.

Both men claimed they were not, according to the chief.

“At this time, our perpetrator grabs [Fayaz] in a headlock, points the gun at his head, and demands the money,” Chief Essig said, according to CNN.

Officer Fayaz told Jones he didn’t have the cash, so Jones allegedly pointed the gun at the officer’s brother-in-law.

Officer Fayaz managed to break away from his attacker, at which point Jones shot him in the head, according to Chief Essig.

Investigators said Jones continued shooting at the two victims as he fled the scene, CNN reported.

The wounded officer’s brother-in-law was able to draw the gun that Officer Fayaz was carrying on his hip and fired at the gunman at least six times, Chief Essig said.

The officer’s brother-in-law was not injured during the gunfight, police said.

Investigators said there were no security cameras in the alley where Jones had arranged to meet up with the two victims.

But dashcam footage from the brother-in-law’s vehicle showed the SUV that the suspect fled in and helped detectives track him down, CNN reported.

Chief Essig said the suspect vehicle was seen pulling into a Department of Sanitation parking lot on Park Avenue at approximately 8:10 p.m. on Feb. 4, according to WNBC.

A man matching the shooter’s description was seen exiting the vehicle and getting into another car that had a woman and five children inside.

Police tracked the second vehicle to a Days Inn in Nanuet, where Jones was ultimately apprehended, WNBC reported.

There were five children inside the motel room at the time of his arrest ranging from six months old to 11 years old, as well as Jones’ girlfriend, according to Chief Essig.

The girlfriend was questioned but is not expected to face charges, according to WNBC.

The children were all released to her custody.

Jones is the father of two of them, according to WABC.

Jones has been charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon, and attempted robbery, WABC reported.

Police said they are also looking into whether the botched robbery is part of a pattern, according to WNBC.

Jones has racked up nearly two dozen prior arrests, including a robbery charge connected to another Facebook Marketplace scam, WABC reported.

The career criminal’s attorney said prosecutors have not presented any evidence that links Jones to Officer Fayaz’s murder.

“While we recognize that this is a painful and difficult time for New York City Police Department Officer Adeed Fayaz’s family, friends and community, Randy Jones is entitled to the presumption of innocence, a fundamental principle required by the United States Constitution,” the defense lawyer said in a statement to WABC.

“We encourage the public to withhold judgment and to allow this case to proceed through the criminal legal system. Defense counsel is still awaiting initial discovery from the District Attorney’s office, and we have not yet received any evidence linking Mr. Jones to the offense,” the statement read. “We will have more to say about this case in the coming days, weeks and months after a thorough review and investigation.”

More than 100 law enforcement officers packed into the courtroom on Wednesday for Jones’ arraignment, WABC reported.

A procession of first responders escorted the slain officer’s body to Brooklyn afterwards.

Officer Fayaz joined the NYPD in 2017 and is assigned to the 66th Precinct in Borough Park, WABC reported.

He leaves behind a wife and two children, according to WNBC.

Jones’ next court hearing is slated to take place on Friday, WABC reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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