The New York Police Department says confusion surrounding a long-awaited arrest led officials to wrongly declare that an off-duty officer had been killed in a 1999 shooting in the Bronx.
A police spokeswoman said Monday that Officer Vincent Ling survived and has since retired. Commissioner James O’Neill tweeted Sunday that Ling had been killed.
Sgt. Jessica McRorie said in a statement that a misreading of the attempted murder charge on suspect Lester Pearson’s arrest warrant “led to the confusion about (Ling’s) death.”
Pearson was arrested Friday in Jacksonville, Florida. The New York Daily News heralded the development on its front page with the headline: “COP KILLER CAUGHT.”
It wasn’t clear if Pearson had a lawyer. Prosecutors said charging documents weren’t in a database because the case is old.