NEW YORK -- A New York man faces two counts of first-degree attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on a pair of police officers, one of whom is in critical condition after being shot in the head.
Demetrius Blackwell appeared before a judge Sunday and did not enter a plea. More than 300 police officers from different precincts around the city packed into the cramped courtroom to hear the charges against the 35-year-old.
Officer Brian Moore of the New York City Police Department's Anti-Crime Unit was being treated at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he had emergency surgery, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters Saturday.
Moore, 25, and another officer, Erik Jansen, 30, were sitting in an unmarked police vehicle in Queens when they saw a passerby adjusting something in his waistband.
Moore, who was driving, pulled up behind the man, later identified as Blackwell, 35, to ask about it, Bratton said. Blackwell allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire on both officers, who were in the car and had no chance to fire back.
Blackwell has been charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder on a police officer, one count of aggravated assault on a police officer, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree assault.
"Last night's shooting once again reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement.
Inside the courtroom, the assistant district attorney said it was a “cold-blooded assassination attempt” on a police officer.
If convicted, Blackwell faces 15 years to life in prison.
The suspect fled after shooting at the officers, but was apprehended shortly after.
A doctor said it could take as long as two days to determine Moore's prognosis.
Blackwell's attorney, David Burt, did not immediately return CNN's call for comment.
CNN's Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.