NYPD Cop Supposedly Killed 20 Years Ago 'Very Much Alive'

Lester Pearson, Vincent Ling's alleged 'killer,' was taken into custody in Florida
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2019 6:30 PM CDT
Updated Mar 23, 2019 10:10 AM CDT
Alleged 'Cop Killer' Busted 20 Years Later—but Cop's Alive
Lester Pearson.   (Handout, via the New York Post)

On Sunday, the New York Daily News and other outlets posted a story on what surely must've felt like a victory of sorts for the NYPD, and justice for one of their own: the capture of a fugitive who was said to have killed an off-duty cop in the Bronx nearly two decades ago. Lester Pearson, 43—aka rapper Monsta Kodi, who also went by the alias of Michael Davis—was nabbed in Jacksonville, Fla., last Friday, 19 years after skipping bail for the Dec. 29, 1999, shooting of then-27-year-old police officer Vincent Ling. Pearson had reportedly dated Ling's sister, and the two men were embroiled in a longtime feud when the shooting took place. Ling, an undercover narcotics officer, was reportedly paralyzed in the shooting, and then said to have died. A homicide warrant was issued for Pearson in 2009.

Even NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, in a now-deleted tweet on Sunday, mentioned Ling as being deceased. Except ... he's not, per the New York Post. "Retired Police Officer Ling, who was shot in 1999, is alive," an NYPD spokeswoman said on Monday. "A misreading of the attempted-murder charge on Pearson's arrest warrant led to the confusion about his death." Ling, now 47, reportedly lives in the Bronx. "He's very much alive," Ling's uncle tells the Daily News. "I saw him last year." As for Pearson, who's had a string of arrests since the 1999 shooting, Action News Jax reports he's being held in Duval County Jail in Florida on $40,000 bond, awaiting extradition to New York. It's still unclear what the charges against him will be, though it looks like it won't be for Ling's murder. (More NYPD stories.)

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