NYPD officer shot dead during traffic stop, Asian partner’s quick response could not save him

NYPD. Photo: Dreamstime

New York, NY – New Yorkers watched the grim funeral of Officer Jonathan Diller, a young police officer who was recently shot and killed last week in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY. News channels have been showing reports of the incidents and NYPD Press Conference with statements by the New York Police Department Commissioner Edward Caban, Mayor Eric Adams and district’s Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers. Officer Diller’s partner at the time of the shooting was Veckash Khedna, who responded quickly to the situation, in effect immobilizing the shooter. But his partner, Officer Diller was mortally wounded.

According to news reports, Officer Diller, accompanied by Officer Khedna, had approached an illegally parked vehicle asking the two men inside to move the car, when one of them shot Officer Diller, who struggled to get the gun out of his hands.

New York Times (NYT) reporting the incident said the driver shot at Officer Diller through the passenger window, hitting him below his protective bullet-proof vest. NYT also reported that  Officer Khedna, immediately returned the fire and shot the driver in the back. The driver recovered when taken to Jamaica Hospital. Officer Diller did not survive.

According to ABC News, Diller was killed while conducting a traffic stop, being the first NYPD officer to be killed on duty in the last two years. Mayor Eric Adams, himself a retired Police Department Captain, was quoted by ABC News saying at the funeral for Officer Diller on Sunday, March 31, 2024, “Our pouring of grief for this young man is real, and it is raw.” Referring to Officer Diller, NYPD Commissioner Caban was quoted by ABC News as saying, “…, he put himself in harm’s way, and he did it so that other New Yorkers wouldn’t have to.”

Most news reports of the incident have mentioned the recent rise in crimes in the city. Recent news channels reports have been of NYPD officers being attacked while on duty, and also of people being killed during face-to-face incidents. Among such incidents is a recent one of a Queens’ teenager with mental health problems being killed by the Police at whom he was waving a pair of scissors.

In view of such incidents, New York One news channel discussed safety measures both for the Police and for persons facing the Police, either being pulled over during a road check, or at home or businesses. The channel said it would be wise for the police officers to approach a vehicle from the passenger side, calling the incident of Officer Diller being shot through the passenger window unusual.

NY One advised drivers and passengers in vehicles to roll down the windows upon being approached by the Police, and keep hands where visible so the officer can see you do not mean any harm. Civilians are also advised to keep their hands where the Police can see them, and not get into arguments and confrontations as soon as approached. Desi Talk’s attempts to get more accurate prescribed safety measures from the NYPD and comments did not get a response by press time.

Officer Khedna, is listed as Asian on the NYPD website. According to NYPD records, after joining NYPD in the October of 2019, he has been a Police Officer on Patrol Borough Queens South Community Response Team since October 2023. He has also served at the 106th precinct earlier.  Khedna is also a member of the Commonwealth Cricket League established in 1979. Khedna, a right-handed all rounder, has played 22 matches, made 425 runs and taken 20 wickets.



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