Duane Costa fired at the officers following a traffic stop
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith announced that a Uniondale man was convicted at trial for attempting to murder four NCPD officers by firing a gun at them following a traffic stop in 2018.
Duane Costa, 37, of Uniondale was convicted by Judge Patricia Harrington after a bench trial of the following charges:
- Four counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (an A-I felony)
- One count of Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree (a B violent felony)
- Three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C felony)
The defendant is due back in court for sentencing on January 27, 2022 and faces a potential maximum sentence of 40 years to life in prison.
“Duane Costa deliberately fired multiple rounds at four police officers with the clear intention to end their lives. Even when his gun fell to the ground, Costa did not stop, pulled out another gun, aimed at the officers’ heads, and continued to shoot to kill,” said Acting DA Smith. “It is nothing short of a miracle that these officers survived and only by their reserve and restraint that the defendant was apprehended without bloodshed. Costa made a violent choice when he was stopped by police – a choice that will result in a life sentence.”
Acting DA Smith said that on October 28, 2018, at approximately 12:45 a.m., the car in which the defendant was a passenger, was stopped by two members of the Nassau County Police Department at Midwood Street and Lafayette Avenue in Hempstead for failing to signal a left turn. After smelling alcohol, observing the defendant not wearing a seatbelt and adjusting an object in his waistband, officers ordered the driver and defendant out of the car.
The defendant then pushed past the officers and ran. As the defendant reached toward his waist, a .40 caliber pistol fell to the ground. The defendant then pulled out another gun, a CZ-52 pistol, and fired multiple rounds at the officers as he ran around a corner where he encountered two different officers who were nearby on a separate matter.
Following that encounter, Costa fired more rounds at those officers and continued running on Clinton until he ran into an alley. Members of the NCPD and Hempstead Village Police Departments then set up a perimeter, and the defendant was found a short time later in a yard on Meriam Street and arrested. Both handguns were recovered, and none of the officers fired their weapons or were injured.
Chief Jared Rosenblatt of the Homicide Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Ryan Nelson of the County Court Trial Bureau prosecuted the case. Lori Golombek, Esq. represents the defendant.