Police have arrested and charged a 30-year-old man for the shooting death of NYPD officer Randolph Holder, The New York Timesreports.
Tyrone Howard reportedly dropped to his knees at his arraignment Wednesday night after being charged with first-degree murder and robbery. Howard was on the run since Sept. 1 for a drug-related shooting in the Lower East Side and escaped police ten times. The suspect was evading Holder and his partner Omar Wallace on Tuesday night, after fleeing the scene of a separate shooting in East Harlem.
Howard stole a bike from a man at gunpoint in an attempt to get away. The suspect then shot Holder in the head before riding off. Wallace shot him in the leg during his escape and he was caught shortly thereafter.
“It was quick,” a senior police official said. “He swung around, on the bike path; he was on the bike and he just jumped off and ‘Boom.’ Quick. No words.”
Howard was placed in a drug treatment program last year, as he has no violent felony convictions in his history. The 2009 shooting was sealed and would have prevented him from being a part of the program, a decision Commissioner Bill Bratton denounced.
“If ever there was a candidate not to have been diverted, it would be this guy,” Mr. Bratton said.
Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at an emotional news conference following the officer’s shooting on Wednesday afternoon, promising to find balance in criminal justice policies.
“Even as we’re attempting to find balance,” Mr. Bratton said, “it’s unfortunate that there are people in our city and our society that, despite our best efforts, that are going to be criminals and many of them are violent criminals and we need to separate them from the rest of us. And this individual I think is one of those.”
Holder was part of the NYPD for five years and had experienced just over seven shootings while patrolling the East Harlem area. His family says he always wanted to be an officer — his father and grandfather were in the profession in Guyana.
This is the fourth NYPD killing since the beginning of the year.