Homeless Man Charged With Murder After Shooting of Queens Grocery Clerk

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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.

  • 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.

  • Cohen is facing multiple charges including murder, attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a firearm.

Featured Image Screenshot via @NYPDShea (left), @NYPDnews (right)

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