A woman walked into a Queens police station on Tuesday with an alarming complaint: her husband had attacked her the night before over accusations of infidelity, she told the police.
A pair of domestic violence officers escorted the woman back to her house on 179th Street in Jamaica early in the afternoon, but it seemed her husband, Rondell Goppy, had left before they arrived, the police said.
Six minutes later, around 12:45 p.m., he showed up armed with two guns and started shooting at the officers, who returned fire, according to the police.
Officer Christopher Wells was shot in the right thigh and Officer Joseph Murphy in both hands. Mr. Goppy, 41, was killed. His wife, also 41, was not injured, the police said.
Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said detectives were still investigating what prompted Mr. Goppy, a college public-safety officer, to open fire on the officers. Both are in their 30s and have a combined total of 20 years on the job.
In a news conference outside the hospital where the officers were expected to undergo surgery, Mr. Shea said the police had been called to the home several times in the past, although Mr. Goppy had no criminal history and was licensed to own firearms.
“Whether he was laying in wait or just happened to arrive at that time, will be part of the investigation,” Mr. Shea said.
The police commissioner said it was unclear why Mr. Goppy had been allowed to keep the three guns he owned legally after the previous domestic violence calls. He said investigators would be looking into what happened.
Under New York State law, the authorities can obtain a court order allowing them to confiscate legally owned weapons if they believe the owners pose a danger to themselves or others. The so-called red-flag law went into effect in 2019 and has rarely been used.
Mr. Goppy was previously forced to give up his guns under circumstances that remain unclear, but they were later returned to him, according to a police official briefed on the investigation.
Mr. Shea said the Officer Wells had a shattered femur. Both officers were awake and alert at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, he said.
“Both require surgeries for their very serious injuries, and we’re hoping for a full recovery,” he said, adding that the shooting was “a stark reminder” of the dangers police officers face in the line of duty.
Mr. Goppy worked as a crime prevention specialist at City College in Manhattan, according to the school’s website. He and his wife bought the home on 179th Street two years after they married, according to the police and public records.
The couple have two children together, who were home attending school remotely when the shooting unfolded, the woman’s mother, Donna Cameron, said. Ms. Cameron said her daughter ran to the basement after the shooting and called her on the phone.
“She said ‘Mommy! Mommy! He tried to shoot me, and he shoot the police,’” Ms. Cameron said. “I said, ‘Stay in the basement, stay in the basement, I’ll come.’”
Ms. Cameron said she immediately drove to New York from her home in Philadelphia with the woman’s sister, Eulene Cameron.
The sister said that the abuse “had been going on for…