While on patrol in a marked radio car with a fellow officer, a police officer received a radio run reporting shots fired in the vicinity of 142nd Street and Rockaway Boulevard. Arriving at the scene within approximately two minutes, the police were waved down by a man. The latter reported that a friend had attempted to shoot him three times but the gun failed to fire. The police were directed to what was apparently the only apartment on the second floor of a building located at 142-90 Rockaway Boulevard.
A Queens County Gun Crime attorney said that the officer and other officers went to the apartment on the second floor, and upon discovering the door partly open, the officer, with gun drawn, announced that the police were there and were coming in. Upon entering the apartment, the officer observed an older woman in the living room, and he observed criminal defendant and another man emerge from a bedroom, approximately 12 to 15 feet away from the point of the officer’s entrance into the premises. Both men were put up against a wall and frisked. Neither was found to be in possession of a weapon. The man, having entered the apartment, identified defendant as the person who had attempted to shoot him. Defendant was arrested and handcuffed, and the second person who had emerged from the bedroom was released.
The Criminal Term concluded that the warrantless entry into the subject premises violated defendant’s constitutional rights pursuant to the dictates of a jurisprudence. The gun and the statements were suppressed as “Fruits of the Poisoned Tree”. The gun was also suppressed on the independent ground that “the defendant and the premises were secured at the time by four armed police officers who had ample opportunity to obtain a search warrant. “