Canarsie

FBI agent was on the phone with his wife when he was shot in the back

June 21, 2019 Noah Goldberg
Police swarmed a wash and detailing shop on Remsen Avenue after the shooting, where they found the vehicle that one of the suspects was driving with a blown out window and bullet holes. Eagle photos by Todd Maisel

The FBI agent shot in the back in Canarsie in December was on the phone with his wife at the time of the shooting — and she heard the gunshots, a motion filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York revealed Friday.

FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper was conducting surveillance in a separate case near the intersection of Canarsie Road and East 93rd St., when Ronell Watson allegedly drove the wrong way down the one-way street in a BMW M5, parked and shot Harper once in the back as the special agent attempted to drive away. Harper’s vehicle was shot numerous times. Harper returned fire, and Watson was shot in the hand.

“As Watson approached Agent Harper’s vehicle, Agent Harper put his telephone down but did not terminate the FaceTime session. Consequently, Agent Harper’s wife heard the ensuing gunshots. Shortly thereafter, Agent Harper picked up his telephone, told his wife that he had been shot, and asked her to call 911,” the motion filed by the government reads.

Harper’s wife ended the call and immediately called the cops.

Detectives examine shell casings on the ground on E. 92nd Street after the shooting. Eagle file photo by Todd Maisel

Watson is charged with attempted murder of a federal officer.

Prosecutors and Watson’s lawyers agreed in court on Friday that during Watson’s upcoming trial — slated to start July 8 — jurors will be able to view both the defendant’s BMW and Harper’s bullet-ridden car. The jurors will be taken down to the Brooklyn Federal Court’s parking garage to view the vehicles. They will not be allowed to speak during what Judge William Kuntz called a “limited field trip” to view the cars.

“I will enforce it like Lord Vader himself,” the judge said of making sure jurors don’t discuss the case while viewing the cars.

Watson’s defense team made a motion Friday to stop prosecutors from bringing up Watson’s alleged gang affiliation at trial. “It’s a highly inflammatory accusation that does not bear on the charges,” said Michelle Gelernt of the Federal Defenders.

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In their own motion, prosecutors said they did not plan on bringing up Watson’s alleged affiliation with the Crips in their own case.

Kuntz did not rule on the motion Friday.

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