An officer fatally shot in Harlem had died from a head injuries after chasing the gunman. The suspect was wounded in the leg and apprehended, according to the Washington Post.
The officer, Randolph Holder, 33, a Guyanese immigrant and a police officer for five years, was fatally shot and killed, becoming the fourth in the line of duty in the past 11 months, the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said during an emotional news conference early Wednesday. A suspect in East Harlem is in custody, he said.
Holder and his partners were responding to reports of gunshots around 8:30 p.m. when they encountered a man riding a bicycle on East 120th Street on a pedestrian path over Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. Gunfire was exchanged, and Holder was struck in the head.
The officer fatally shot in Harlem was taken in critical condition to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m., Commissioner Bratton said.
“He ran toward danger,” Commissioner Bratton said. “It was the last time he will respond to that call.”
The night’s events began when officers assigned to the Police Department’s housing unit heard gunshots at a park near 105th Street and First Avenue. The unit reported on the radio that two men were running, one toward Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and the other toward First Avenue, a law enforcement official said.
Police officers swarmed East Harlem as the men continued running. A bystander told the police that a man had taken his bicycle at gunpoint, and units from 96th Street and 120th Street converged on the gunman, who began firing when he was confronted, the law enforcement official said.
The suspect was wounded in the leg and apprehended near East 124th Street, Commissioner Bratton said. He was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was expected to be released into police custody on Wednesday morning, the commissioner said.
Three other men were taken into custody at East 111th Street for questioning, he said.
Investigators recovered at least one gun and a bicycle, the police said. A law enforcement official said divers had also found a loaded magazine from a semiautomatic pistol in the Harlem River.
Shell casings from as many as three weapons were found near the scene of the first shots, the law enforcement official said. The evidence indicated that people had been firing from both sides of the street, the official said.
It was an emotional moment for Commissioner Bratton, who appeared to hold back tears as he spoke at the news conference at Harlem Hospital Center, where Officer Holder had died with his family at his side. After his death, his grieving father addressed his son’s colleagues.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was mourning an officer who gave his life to protect a city he loved.
“This sadness is so hard to describe,” he said.
Officer Holder, he added, was “an immigrant who wanted to give back to his city and his country, who had an exemplary record as a police officer.”
Before the news conference, dozens of police officers had gathered in an auditorium inside the hospital waiting to hear of their colleague’s fate, and at least two priests were present. Around 11:15 p.m., the officers slowly began filing out of the room with frowns.
The body of the officer fatally shot in Harlem was driven from the hospital around 1:45 a.m. as dozens of colleagues saluted. Not a word was spoken.