2 NYPD Officers Were Killed In Their Patrol Car
Two New York police officers died after a lone gunman ambushed their patrol car in Brooklyn shortly before 3 p.m., NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were near Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant when Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, approached their car and began shooting at them several times. At least one of the officers was shot in the head, a police official said.
After firing on the officers, Brinsley ran into a nearby subway station and shot himself.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the fatal shootings while on vacation in Hawaii. "White House staff are monitoring the situation," an official said.
The last NYPD officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty was Peter Figoski in 2011, according to The New York Times.
Police officials confirmed that earlier in the day, Brinsley was in Baltimore and shot his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend in the stomach. He then posted an angry, threatening message about the police on an Instagram account before traveling to Brooklyn, where he killed the two officers.
"This is a point to make clear to all my fellow New Yorkers, anytime anyone has information that there might be an attack on our police, it is imperative that it be reported immediately," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
As ambulances carrying the officers’ bodies left Woodhull Hospital, police and firefighters blocked traffic along the motorcade route with squad cars and fire trucks. Hundreds of police and firefighters stood silently at attention, saluting as the ambulances drove by on their way to the city medical examiner’s office.
The attack comes after a grand jury decided to not indict police officers over the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri.
Both decisions have sparked nationwide protests and recently led to an attack of several police officers during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend.
Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, who has helped organize some of the protests, released a statement condemning the shooting.
"Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in connection with any violence or killing of police is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases," Sharpton said.
"We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad," Sharpton said.
Attorney General Eric Holder called the shooting a senseless and an "unspeakable act of barbarism."
"On behalf of all those who serve in the United States Department of Justice, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the officers' loved ones and colleagues. I will make available all of the resources of the Department to aid the NYPD in investigating this tragedy," Holder said in a statement.
The protests have continued sporadically. On Saturday, demonstrators against police violenceshut down the Mall of America in Minnesota, one of the country's largest shopping centers, a community group said