America

Slain Officer Remembered as a Friendly Neighbor With a Promising Future

Jonathan Diller, 31, joined the New York Police Department three years ago and was a new father.

A Long Island native, he had in recent years moved into a modest home with his wife, Stephanie, and their one-year-old son in Massapequa Park, a tidy suburban neighborhood some 40 minutes from where he worked in southeast Queens near Kennedy International Airport.

His police career seemed promising. He had no disciplinary record and had already been decorated three times for “excellent police duty.”

But Officer Diller was fatally shot in the line of duty on Monday evening while on patrol in what Mayor Eric Adams called “a senseless act of violence.”

Shortly before midnight, Officer Diller’s remains, shrouded in a Police Department flag, were borne by fellow officers out of the hospital into a police ambulance as scores of other officers saluted.

Officer Diller, who city records show joined the Police Department in February 2021, was on patrol with a partner as part of the community response team in Far Rockaway when they approached a car with two people inside parked illegally at a bus stop on Mott Avenue, the police said.

Officer Diller approached the vehicle and ordered the man in the passenger seat to step out. The man refused, pulled out a gun, and shot Officer Diller in the torso below his protective vest, Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban said at a news conference Monday night at Jamaica Hospital, where Officer Diller was pronounced dead.

Officer Diller’s partner returned fire, striking the gunman, who survived and was also taken to Jamaica Hospital.

Mayor Eric Adams called the confrontation that led to Officer Diller’s death “a senseless act of violence.”Credit…Dakota Santiago for The New York Times

Even after being shot, Officer Diller “still stayed in the fight,” the department’s chief of detectives, Joseph Kenny, told reporters Monday night.

Officer Diller’s active police work in a busy precinct stood in contrast to his home life on a quiet block where his neighbors described him as a friendly and helpful guy they knew as Jon.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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