The woman accused of shooting a plainclothes detective in the head with a pellet gun in Queens told investigators she didn't remember firing the shot, or much else about that day, according to prosecutors. Tiara Ferebee, 24 and a resident of Riverhead in Suffolk County, is facing felony assault charges as well as a weapon possession count for the Wednesday shooting in Jamaica that left a pellet embedded in the detective's forehead. At Ferebee's arraignment on Sunday, a judge set her bail at $1 million or $500,000 cash.
The officer who was struck, Detective Adam Jangel, is said to have been driving an unmarked car on 168th Street near Jamaica Avenue at around 5 p.m. when the pellet hit him in the forehead. Following the shooting, police circulated a surveillance still showing a person in the backseat of a sedan, which prosecutors said was a Nissan Altima linked to similar shootings on Sunrise Highway, including at least one where a person was struck. Ferebee has not been charged in connection with those alleged incidents.
Officers arrested Ferebee on Saturday, and prosecutors said she repeatedly told her interrogators, "I don't remember."
"I don’t know if I had a gun. I don’t remember. I don’t know and I don’t remember if I discharged a gun in the car," Ferrebee is quoted as saying in a criminal complaint. "You know why you have me here. Just book me."
David Blondell, Ferebee’s Legal Aid lawyer, said that video evidence purportedly linking her to the shooting does not show anyone pointing a gun, and police have not found a weapon.
"She’s being punished for being near where something happened," he said.
A police union official called for the state to throw the book at Ferebee.
"A few inches lower and the detective could have been blinded by the pellet," Detectives’ Endowment Association president Michael Palladino told the Post, adding, "Let her sit in prison for years and think about it."
Ferebee pleaded guilty to petit larceny in Suffolk County last month, and received a conditional discharge, meaning the charge would have been dropped and sealed if she had stayed out of legal trouble for a year.
Police initially said that Ferebee was being charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors seem not to have pursued that. The felony charges against Ferebee, second-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault, carry maximum sentences of seven and 15 years in prison, respectively.
Similar charges are still pending against Michael Verbitsky, the 19-year-old accused of shooting a member of Mayor de Blasio's security detail with a pellet gun near Gracie Mansion a year ago.