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'Crips gang member' is sentenced to 31 years in prison for attempted murder of FBI special agent

Ronell Watson, 33, was sentenced at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn Tuesday 

A suspected Crips gang member has been sentenced to 31 years in jail for the 'cold-blooded' attempted murder of an FBI special agent who he shot in the back during an unrelated undercover assignment.

Ronell Watson, 33, was sentenced at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn on Tuesday to 382 months in federal prison, almost two years after a jury convicted him of the attempted murder and assault of Special Agent Christopher Harper.

Harper was sitting in his parked car carrying out surveillance for an unrelated case on the afternoon of December 8 2018.

Watson cornered the agent in his vehicle, before getting out and opening fire.

Harper was shot in the back but managed to drive away, before returning fire and shooting Watson in the hand.  

Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Mark Lesko announced the sentencing Tuesday as he said 'justice has been served.'

'This Office is gratified by the lengthy prison sentence the court imposed on Watson for his senseless, cold-blooded and unprovoked shooting of Special Agent Harper, who came close to losing his life,' he said. 

'This Office will never tolerate murderous assaults on members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities.' 

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney praised Harper's 'bravery and quick thinking' which he said saved his life and led to Watson's swift arrest. 

Watson was found guilty by a federal jury in Brooklyn back in July 2019.

The jury had deliberated for three days before convicting him of the charges.

Ronell Watson pictured. The suspected Crips gang member has been jailed for 31 years for the 'cold-blooded' attempted murder of FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper who he shot in the back during an unrelated undercover assignment

Then-US attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue took the rare step of prosecuting the case himself.

He described the shooting as an 'attempted execution' during the trial. 

Surveillance footage of the incident shows Watson, a known gang member, driving his BMW sedan the wrong way down a one-way street around 3.20pmin the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn on December 8. 

The car is then picked up on separate surveillance footage blocking in a car outside Watson's home.

Inside the car, Harper was on a FaceTime call with his wife, Jessica Lasek, during a stakeout. 

Watson gets out of the driver's side of the car and walks around the back of his vehicle. 

He walks forward toward Harper's car as he puts his hand in the pocket of his hoody.

Watson is partly hidden from view by some trees in the gardens of the homes. 

The FBI agent's car moves forward around Watson's car and drives off down the street. 

At this point, Watson pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Harper's car.  

Surveillance footage of the incident shows Watson driving his BMW sedan the wrong way down a one-way street (above) in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn on December 8 2018 

The car blocks in a car outside Watson's home. Inside the car, Harper was on a FaceTime call with his wife, Jessica Lasek, during a stakeout

Watson gets out of the driver's side of the car and walks toward Harper's car. The FBI agent's car moves forward around Watson's car and drives off down the street. At this point, Watson pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Harper's car (seen in a light top)

Harper is shot in the back. He then pulls over and jumps out of his car with his gun, returning fire

Harper is then seen on the surveillance camera which first captured Watson's car driving the wrong way down the road.

The agent pulls over and jumps out of his car with his gun, returning fire. 

Watson speeds away from the scene in the opposite direction to the agent.    

Bodycam footage shown during the trial showed the moments after the shooting where Harper is heard panicking that he is 'gonna die.' 

'I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die,' Harper tells responding NYPD officers. 

'I'm gonna die, I have a son,' he says as he is seen bleeding through his red sweatshirt.  

Watson was shot in the hand. He was caught on a third surveillance video abandoning his BMW at an auto shop (above Watson in the light hoody exiting his car)

Moments later, he met a friend and they got into another vehicle and drove away

They drove to Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center where Watson was arrested. He was found guilty in July 2019 

Harper was shot in the back, with the bullet lodging in his lung.

He suffered a collapsed lung, a broken rib, and broken shoulder blade. 

Minutes after the shooting, Watson, who suffered a gunshot wound to the hand, was caught on a third surveillance video abandoning his BMW at an auto shop.

The footage shows him pulling up and getting out.

Moments later, he met a friend and they got into another vehicle.

They drove to Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center where he was arrested. 

Watson's defense had denied he was trying to murder Harper, claiming he panicked when a car he didn't recognize with tinted windows moved toward him at a high speed.  

Harper underwent multiple surgeries and has returned to service as a Special Agent of the FBI.

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