A Nassau County police officer shot in the line of duty was honored by the county legislature on Monday, the same day a Brooklyn man charged in the shooting was to be sentenced.
Officer Mohit Arora was shot in the groin when he confronted an armed suspect at the scene of a home invasion in New Hyde Park in August 2013. Authorities said two men – Cong Xu, 22, and Renhang Qiu, 23 – allegedly tried to burglarize the home and were involved a shootout with police officers who responded to a 911 call from frightened homeowner. Xu later told detectives that he “wanted to get away” when he shot the officer, according to court papers.
Both men have since pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Qiu was supposed to be sentenced on Monday, but his case was put off until April 29. A court spokesman said there was a “consent adjournment,” meaning that prosecutors, Qiu’s lawyer and the court all agreed to the postponement. Qiu had initially signed a cooperation agreement and had agreed to testify against Xu before his alleged accomplice struck a plea deal last week.
Xu pleaded guilty to assault and burglary charges in relation to the shooting last week and is expected to be sentenced in April to 30 years in prison.
The men told police they had targeted the home, which was owned by one of Qiu’s relatives, because they thought there would be large amounts of cash and jewelry inside, according to court papers. As they were rummaging through the home, the men found family members hiding inside a closet and ran off. One of the relatives had already called 911 and officers, including Arora, were pulling up as Xu and Qiu were leaving the home, authorities have said.
Nassau PBA President James Carver said Arora is a “model police officer” whose quick response helped to prevent anyone in the house from behind hurt.
“In the course of attempting to apprehend the perpetrator, Mohit displayed courage in the line of duty, and given the chance to do it all over again wouldn’t hesitate to respond quickly to ensure to safety of the residents of Nassau County,” Carver said.
But as Arora accepted accolades from local officials at a meeting of the county legislature on Monday afternoon, there were no ranking police officials in sight. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter has been a regular attendee of the so-called “Top Cop” award ceremonies, though neither he nor any members of the department’s leadership team showed up on Monday. A police department spokesman did not respond to questions about why the commissioner did not attend.
“I’m honored to be here and get this award,” Arora told reporters after the ceremony. “[Being a] police officer is a very dangerous job and we need the support of Nassau County residents.”
He said that he has returned to duty but that it has been “a long process.”
“I’m still healing and I’m looking forward to getting better.”