Press Release

NEW JERSEY MAN ARRESTED FOR THREATENING TO ‘SHOOT UP’ JFK AIRPORT

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Darnell King was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, making terroristic threats and other related crimes after he sent a video to his estranged wife in which a gun is visible and threatened a mass shooting at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where she had just landed, by allegedly saying, “I’m going to wait for the plane to leave, and that is when I am going to start shooting the airport up.”

 

District Attorney Katz said: “There is no telling just how many lives were saved with the apprehension of this defendant who drove to JFK Airport with two loaded handguns and threatened a mass casualty event. Thanks to the swift actions of our partners at the Port Authority Police Department and the NYPD, this defendant was apprehended before he could harm anyone.”

 

Port Authority Chief Security Officer Greg Ehrie said: “Thanks to the swift response of our officers and law enforcement partners, we prevented a potentially dangerous situation at a very busy travel hub. This arrest underscores the vigilance, collaboration, and determination shared by law enforcement across this region toward keeping our communities safe and our critical transportation facilities secure.”

 

NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban said: “These criminal charges prove, yet again, that there are too many people carrying illegal firearms and too many people willing to use them. I commend and thank our law enforcement colleagues for sharing the NYPD’s steadfast commitment to ending gun violence in New York City. It is clear that our immediate, coordinated efforts this week thwarted an entirely senseless, untold tragedy.”

 

King, 39, of East 36th Street in Paterson, NJ, was arraigned yesterday on a 12-count complaint charging him with four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; making a terroristic threat; two counts of criminal possession of a firearm; two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, rifle or a shotgun in a sensitive location; menacing in the second degree; criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; and unlawful possession of pistol ammunition.

 

King faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Criminal Court Judge Edwin I. Novillo ordered the defendant to return to court May 28.

 

According to the charges:

 

  • On April 30, at approximately 8:27 a.m., King’s estranged wife was inside Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, where she had just returned from an overseas flight. The woman received a text message and video from King, in which he said that he was on route in his car to meet her at the airport and that the recording is his “last will and testament.”

 

  • King can be seen in the video saying: “I am going to wait for the plane to leave, and that is when I am going to start shooting the airport up. This is a day in history that you and everybody will always remember.”

 

  • A black and silver firearm is seen displayed in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

 

  • At approximately 9:29 a.m., the victim received another text message and video from King in which he is seen standing at the rear of his vehicle at the airport, saying: “I don’t know what makes you think that I was lying, I am here.”

 

  • Officers the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) responded to Terminal 5 at the airport and the defendant was apprehended by PAPD and NYPD officers at approximately 11:50 a.m. at a nearby Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park.

 

  • Following the execution of a search warrant on the defendant’s vehicle, officers removed:
  • A Taurus 9 mm handgun with one round in the chamber and a magazine that contained eight rounds
  • A Taurus .40-caliber handgun with one round in the chamber and a magazine with three bullets
  • An additional two bullets from a cup holder
  • An air pistol loaded with multiple pellets

 

The investigation was conducted by PAPD Detectives Samantha Morris and Dominick Esposito, with the assistance of Police Officer Miguel Rosario, under the supervision of Detective Sergeant Alex Miller-Rodriguez, Detective Lieutenant Jose Alba, under the overall supervision of Inspector Hugh Johnson and Chief Matthew Willson of the Port Authority Police Department, as well as members of the Queens District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes and Domestic Violence Bureaus, with the assistance of officers from the NYPD 106th Police Precinct.

 

Assistant District Attorney Catherine Kane, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief of the Airport Investigations Unit in the District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Sean Murphy, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard Brave.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.