Uniondale man sentenced to 25 years to life for attempted murder of 4 Nassau County police officers

Uniondale man sentenced to 25 years to life for attempted murder of 4 Nassau County police officers
Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly holds the pistol used by Duane Costa, 40, of Uniondale, to shoot at four officers following a traffic stop in 2018. (Screencap by Brandon Duffy via YouTube)

Duane Costa, 40, of Uniondale, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the attempted murder of four Nassau County police officers in Hempstead following a traffic stop in 2018. 

District Attorney Anne Donnelly announced the sentencing Thursday after Costa was convicted after a trial held on December 16 by Acting State Supreme Court Justice Patricia Harrington.

“Duane Costa fired at least two rounds directly at officers’ heads from less than 10 feet away as they pursued him down the streets of Hempstead and he continued firing as additional officers joined the chase,” Donnelly said in a statement. “Police officers around the country put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, knowing that it could mean they don’t return home to their families. I will always support our police, and when there is violence against a member of law enforcement we will ensure that the defendant is held responsible for their crimes.” 

Costa was convicted of four counts of attempted murder in the first degree, one count of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree and three counts of criminal possession in the second degree, each of them being felonies. 

Police say following a traffic stop for failing to signal a left turn, where Costa was a passenger, two officers ordered him to step out of the car after smelling alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt and adjusting an object in his waistband. 

After running away from the police, officials say a pistol fell to the ground before Costa pulled out another and fired multiple rounds at the two officers. Costa then encountered two additional officers who were in the area for a separate matter, where he fired again before being arrested on Meriam Street in Rockville Centre.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said his officers’ training stepped in that night.

“The training, the expertise that they get every single day to fruition that night,” Ryder said. “There is no routine car stop.”

Efforts to reach Costa’s lawyer Lori Golombek for immediate comment were unavailing

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. 

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