How social media led to arrest of suspect in rookie NYPD officer’s shooting

Police announced that they have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the shooting of a rookie NYPD officer in Queens, and the investigation into some social media accounts helped lead to his arrest.

Officials say members of the U.S. Marshalls found Devin Spraggins in a home in the Bronx at around 8 p.m. Thursday. They also found a gun in the home, but do not yet know if it was used in this incident.

He is facing charges of attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration.

It all began on Wednesday when Officer Brett Boller, 22, was shot in the hip as he was responding to an altercation on a bus.

NYPD brass described the arrest Friday morning during a press conference.

They say after fleeing the scene, Spraggins was observed getting into a Black Nissan Altima, a Lyft for-hire vehicle, that took him to a house on 215th Street.

Officers discovered social media accounts for the people staying at that home and were able to get a search warrant. A search inside the home led police to discover what they believe to be the suspect’s shoes that he was wearing during the incident.

After interviewing people at the location, police say that information led them to a home in the Bronx where they were able to take him into custody around 9 p.m.

A 9mm handgun was also recovered along with a 9mm shell casing and magazine. Ballistics will determine if they match the weapon used to shoot Officer Boller.

“He’s someone whose father I’ve worked with for 15 years. Knowing his son was out there, doing the job, and getting shot, I think every police officer feels that rush to just get out there and do what they can,” said James Essig, Chief of Detectives, NYPD. “In this particular case, the amazing work that the detective bureau did and the force investigation to put this together in a short time, but it’s very difficult to describe an incident where you hear ‘officer shot.’ There are just so many emotions that go through you when that happens.”

He underwent surgery at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he faces a long road to recovery ahead.

He is not expected to be released from the hospital for days — likely not until next week — but is expected to make a full recovery.

One of the bones that connect his hip to his leg was shattered in the shooting and damaged his femoral artery, the main blood vessel to his leg. He’s listed in stable condition, but now faces months of rehabilitation of his right leg.

Boller is from Hauppauge and just graduated in December and his father is a detective in Brooklyn.

He graduated from Happaugue High School in 2018 as a star athlete.

“He was a three-sport athlete and he captained many of the teams,” said Happaugue School District Dr. Don Murphy. “He’s a young man. So it’s devastating to our community to learn.”

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