Man admits to shooting cop in NHP

A man charged with the 2013 shooting of a police officer in New Hyde Park pleaded guilty to two felonies Tuesday and received a sentencing commitment of 30 years in prison, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office announced.

Cong Xu, 22, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to assault in the first degree and burglary in the first degree, both B felonies, according to a district attorney spokesman.

He received a sentencing commitment of 30 years in prison from Acting Nassau Supreme Court Justice Philip Greta and is due back in court for sentencing April 2.

Xu, a Chinese national, had been facing charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree attempted murder of a police officer.

According to the Nassau district attorney’s office, Xu was fleeing from a burglary in New Hyde Park when he shot Nassau County police officer Mohit Arora in the hip.

Arora, who was at the time 32 years old and a six-year veteran of the force, and another officer were responding to a 911 call by the homeowners of 241 Campbell St. to report a burglary in their home, police said at the time.

According to the district attorney’s office, the officers confronted Xu as he fled the premises. As Xu ran away from the officers, he turned and fired several shots from a handgun, hitting Arora in the lower abdomen.

A second suspect, Renhang Qiu, 23, also of Brooklyn, who the district attorney’s office said “aided and abetted Xu in the home burglary,” pleaded guilty in May to burglary in the first degree and received a sentencing commitment of seven years in prison, according to the DA’s office. He is due in court for sentencing on Feb. 23.  

“Police officers risk their lives every day as they work to keep our communities safe from armed and dangerous criminals,” acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “This burglar had a handgun when he entered a Nassau family’s home. Officer Mohit Arora responded and was shot protecting innocent civilians. As a result of Officer Arora’s heroism and today’s guilty plea, this defendant will no longer be a threat to others for a long time to come.”

Both suspects were caught following a search that included the use of a police helicopter. Police said Xu was apprehended on Flower Lane and Nugent Street. Qui was caught on Lakeville Road at Sylvia Lane.

“We had an extensive manhunt at the time,” police spokesman Vincent Garcia said at the time.

The officers responding to the 911 call thought Xu was surrendering when he proceeded to run away and fire behind him, hitting Arora and fracturing his hip bone. Xu’s gun was recovered at the scene.

Arora was transported to North Shore Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

The owners of the Campbell Street home, Michael and Annie Chen, had been awakened in their upstairs bedroom by noise in the house and called 911.

Moments later, the Chen’s were confronted by Xu brandishing a 9-millimeter handgun, police said. Xu, police said, entered the house through a basement window.

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James Galloway

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