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A federal judge praised an FBI agent who survived an ambush shooting in Brooklyn as a “five-tool police officer” — and made a point to distinguish the agent from convicted murderer cop Derek Chauvin.
Judge William Kuntz offered the kind words to Agent Christopher Harper on Tuesday as he sentenced Harper’s attacker to more than 31 years in prison for the 2018 shooting.
“The world now knows the name of a former murderous police officer ... He used to work in a Midwestern state that will remain nameless,” Judge William Kuntz said, addressing Harper. “All the world shall also know your name.”
Alleged Crips member Ronell Watson was found guilty in July 2019 of wounding Harper while the agent was working a stakeout in Canarsie.
Harper was in his car on a FaceTime call with his wife on Dec. 8, 2018 when Watson blocked him in approached with his hand in the pocket of his sweatshirt.
As Harper attempted to drive away, Watson opened fire and struck Harper in the back. The federal agent returned fire and hit Watson in the hand.
“The emotional pain ... is in many ways worse than the physical pain,” Harper said in court, pausing to cry. “In the moments after I was shot, I was faced with the very real possibility of not seeing my 2-year-old son or 8-month-old daughter again.
“It feels like drowning in the ocean just off the coast and seeing your children on the coastline,” he said about the near-death experience.
Judge Kuntz read from Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address before sentencing Watson for attempting to murder a federal agent, assaulting a federal agent and discharging a weapon during those crimes.
Watson apologized Harper before hearing his fate.
“I know I harmed you and your family and I hope I can find a way to repair the harm that I have caused,” he said. “In another life we may have met under better circumstances ... Your responsibility is to keep us citizens safe and I challenged that on that day.
“I know that I’m going to ask for your forgiveness knowing that I may never receive it ... but I’m asking some way somehow if there’s something I can do to repair that harm I did.”