A male deli customer in Queens, New York, was shot dead Monday evening by a homeless man who had just been kicked out of the store prior to the murder.
The victim, 26-year-old Mohmediyan Tarwala, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead after being shot twice in the stomach at Cross Bay Express Deli, according to the NYPD police report. (RELATED: More Than 30 Arrested After Riots Erupt In Philadelphia Following Alleged Police Shooting Of Man With Knife)
Officer Jason Maharaj was off-duty when the accused shooter, 63-year-old Steven Cohen, opened fire on Tarwala at approximately 6:15 pm. After Cohen fled the store, Maharaj wrestled him to the ground, took the murder weapon, and restrained the senior citizen until responding officers arrived.
On & off-duty, your NYPD cops put their lives on the line to protect New Yorkers — it’s what they do.
Outstanding work, Officer Maharaj! https://t.co/jkqKVSRiT2
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) October 27, 2020
Before the shooting, Tarwala and a store clerk escorted Cohen out of the deli, according to New York Daily News.
Cohen returned after being kicked out and allegedly proceeded to shoot Tarwala twice in the stomach. Cohen then turned his sights on the clerk but stopped after noticing the protective glass, sources tell the NY Daily News.
Moments before he shot Tarwala, Cohen entered a different store across the street where he reportedly told the front desk clerk to call 911. (RELATED: Police Union Officials Wouldn’t Want Their Own Sons In Law Enforcement)
“The guy came in and asked me to call 911,” the store clerk, Chris Hanlon told NY Daily News. “He seemed like he was in the middle of a medical emergency… He then just walked away.”
A DCPI Spokesperson told the Daily Caller that Cohen is charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of criminal use of a firearm.