(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the indictment of Janell Funderburke, 20, of Coram, who is accused of shooting a Suffolk County Police Officer on May 11, 2023 on Homestead Drive in Coram. Funderburke was additionally indicted for a gunpoint robbery which occurred three days earlier.
“This case is a stark reminder of the serious dangers our police officers face on a daily basis,” said District Attorney Tierney. “While I am grateful that Police Officer Lafauci is finally at home recovering from his injuries, my office is committed to ensuring that the individual responsible for this brazen and senseless act is held responsible.”
According to the investigation, on May 11, 2023, at 12:45 p.m., Suffolk County Police Officer Michael Lafauci was conducting surveillance on Homestead Drive in Coram when Office Lafauci observed the defendant, Janell Funderburke, walking southbound a short distance from the defendant’s residence. At the time, Funderburke was wanted in connection with a May 8, 2023 gun-point robbery which also occurred on Homestead Drive in Coram.
Officer Lafauci allegedly pulled next to the defendant in his unmarked police vehicle at which point the defendant began to flee.
Officer Lafauci ran after the defendant on foot, identified himself as a police officer and ordered the defendant to show his hands. The defendant refused to comply with these orders and continued to run. Seconds later, the defendant allegedly turned back towards Officer Lafauci, extended a black firearm with his right hand and fired twice at chest level towards Officer Lafauci.
Officer Lafauci was struck in his upper right thigh by one of the bullets and fell to the ground as the defendant continued to run off towards his residence on Homestead Drive. Nearby members of the Suffolk County Police Department immediately ran to Officer Lafauci and administered emergency aid. Officer Lafauci was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
Funderburke was also indicted on charges related to a May 8, 2023 armed robbery. On that date, the defendant allegedly met up with two women in the vicinity of the defendant’s residence on Homestead Drive. After meeting the women, an argument ensued and the defendant allegedly stole money from one of the women, pointed a black firearm at both of them and threatened to shoot one of the women.
Funderburke was arrested on May 11, 2023 for both incidents. That same day, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence and a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine, a quantity of fentanyl, and a quantity of the controlled substance carisoprodol was recovered. A microscopic examination revealed that the pistol recovered from Funderburke’s residence was the same pistol that shot Police Officer Lafauci.
Funderburke is charged with the following:
On May 25, 2023, Funderburke was arraigned on the indictment by Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Anthony S. Senft, Jr. who ordered him held without bail during the pendency of the case. Funderburke faces a maximum of 40 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count alone, he faces an additional 25 years in prison on charges related to the May 8, 2023 robbery. He is due back in court on June 12, 2023 and is represented by Christopher Cassar, Esq.
This case is being prosecuted by Bureau Chief James Slattery and Assistant District Attorney Donald Barclay of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
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