- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) Police hunting for the killers of two undercover detectives arrested three persons yesterday, including a man trying to disguise himself as a woman at a Staten Island ferry terminal.
Police continued to search for a fourth man in the slayings of the two officers, who were shot while making an undercover gun buy. They were the first New York City officers killed in the line of duty since the September 11 attacks.
The detectives were slain Monday night after backup units lost track of both their car and its radio signal in a hilly section of Staten Island, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. The detectives were found lying shot in the street and were pronounced dead at a hospital.
The seven-year veterans, whose names have not been released because of the nature of their jobs and the risk to other undercover officers, were trying to buy a Tec-9 submachine gun.
Police said the shootings were apparently an attempt to rob the officers of the $1,200 payment.
"When you try to explain to a widow, try to answer her question about 'What do I say to the kids?' you realize how horrific this is," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said.
Police said yesterday that two suspects had been taken into custody overnight. One, 19-year-old Michael Whitten, had been awaiting sentencing on a drug charge, authorities said. The other, 17-year-old Jessie Jacobus, was arrested immediately after the shooting.
A third suspect, 19-year-old Omar Green, was the subject of an intensive manhunt that ended at the end of yesterday morning rush hour on the upper deck of a Manhattan-bound ferry. Police said a passenger drew two officers' attention to Green, who was disguised in a blond-streaked wig and stuffed bra.
The officers approached and questioned Mr. Green, who answered their inquiries in a falsetto before he was taken into custody, police said.
One other suspect, 19-year-old Ronell Wilson, remained at large yesterday afternoon, police said.
The District Attorney's Office said the suspects would not appear in court before this afternoon. Prosecutors said they would pursue the strongest possible punishments.
"Death penalty is certainly a viable option," said David Lehr, Staten Island's chief assistant district attorney.
The weapon of one slain officer was found in Mr. Green's mother's home, Mr. Kelly said. The other officer had his pistol on him, the commissioner said. They had apparently not fired a shot.

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