A homeless man is facing murder charges after being apprehended by an off-duty police officer for killing a convenience store clerk in Queens, New York.
Deadly shooting: The incident occurred at the Craft Beer Lotto Cigar Shop in Cross Bay Blvd., Ozone Park at 6:15 p.m. on Monday night, according to amNY.
- According to a police report, the suspect, Steven Cohen, 63, walked into the store armed with a handgun and allegedly opened fire at two store clerks, according to the NY Daily News.
- Mohmediyan Tarwala, 26, was shot in the stomach, while Henil Perakh, 32, was unharmed.
- Witnesses in the area claimed Cohen was “mentally deranged” and lived in a van parked near the store for months.
- They also claimed that the attack came after Cohen had a verbal dispute with Tarwala earlier.
- Tarwala was rushed to Jamaica Hospital but was later pronounced dead.
Arrest and charges: Officer Jason Maharaj, an off-duty Indian American NYPD Officer of Caribbean descent, tackled Cohen and disarmed him, News India Times reported.
Nothing short of Heroic.
The moment after a man shot & killed a deli worker, off-duty NYPD Officer Maharaj, with out regard for his own safety, tackled the shooter, disarmed him & held him for responding cops. pic.twitter.com/PQBmg4bKiB
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) October 27, 2020
- Maharaj pinned the alleged shooter until police from the 106th Precinct arrived at the scene.
- The NYPD and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea applauded Maharaj for his bravery.
Off-duty but always vigilant.
This evening, off-duty Police Officer Maharaj from the @NYPD77Pct was in a deli in Queens when a suspect started shooting at another customer. The officer quickly sprang into action, tackled the suspect & held him until uniform officers arrived. pic.twitter.com/VKv4JpjUYr
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 27, 2020
- Cohen is facing multiple charges including murder, attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a firearm.