A 20-year-old Serbian national living in Brooklyn has been charged in connection to a June 3 attack on multiple police officers in Flatbush, according to federal and state authorities.
Dzenan Camovic faces federal charges of robbery and firearms offenses, as well as state charges of attempted aggravated murder, first degree attempted murder, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for stabbing one police officer and stealing another officer’s firearm.
“We are lucky that these officers were not killed,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “This case underscores the dangers our police officers face day in and day out.”
According to court papers, Camovic allegedly stabbed one officer in the neck after rounding the corner on Flatbush and Church avenues, then chased the stabbed officer’s partner with a knife and lunged at him. The attacker then returned to the wounded officer, removed his gun, and used it to fire multiple shots at the officer’s partner and responding officers. Two officers were wounded in the crossfire before Camovic was shot.
The attacker was hospitalized for gunshot wounds and has since recovered, according to the District Attorney.
Security footage shows Camovic crouching behind the officers for several minutes while watching them, suggesting the attack was premeditated, according to court papers.
The two officers were on anti-looting duty amid citywide protests against police brutality, which spurred rioting in some parts of the city including SoHo in Manhattan and Fordham Road in the Bronx — though, instances of looting were scarce in Brooklyn.
The Department of Justice claims Camovic was influenced by terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State, and allegedly yelled “Allahu Ackbar” during the attack. Federal investigators also found a “significant volume” of radical propaganda in his possession, according to the Department of Justice.
“Dzenan Camovic, as outlined in the indictment, was a consumer of terrorist propaganda and calls for violence by groups like al-Qaida and ISIS,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “His premeditated ambush of two New York City police officers can never be accepted.”
Camovic faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.