The gunman who focused New York City cops in back-to-back shootings over the weekend, wounding two, has a historical past of violence that features a prior gun battle towards cops and an tried homicide conviction from practically 20 years in the past, investigators mentioned.
The suspect, who police imagine carried out two “assassination attempts” on officers within the Bronx lower than 12 hours aside, had been paroled in 2017 after an tried homicide conviction in 2002, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea mentioned Sunday at a information convention.
Police recognized him Sunday as Robert Williams, 45, of the Bronx.
In 2002, the suspected gunman had shot a person after which carjacked a lady as he fled, Shea mentioned. His bid to flee got here to an finish when he crashed the automotive and traded gunfire with New York Metropolis cops.
Since his parole greater than two years in the past, he has one recorded arrest for which he was already scheduled to seem in court docket, the commissioner mentioned.
The suspected gunman was rapidly taken into custody inside the headquarters of the 41st Precinct in the Bronx on Sunday morning after unloading his 9mm handgun on officers, police mentioned. Solely after working out of bullets did the gunman lay down on the bottom and give up.
“This is not a crime gone bad,” Shea mentioned. “This is not a liquor store robbery interrupted that a tragedy erupts from. This is a premeditated assassination attempt.”
A police lieutenant was wounded in his higher left arm. He returned hearth however didn’t hit the suspect. The lieutenant was anticipated to be launched from the hospital later Sunday.
Investigators had been assured the person in custody had carried out a similar assault Saturday evening on two uniformed police officers sitting in a patrol van, Shea mentioned. One officer was wounded when a bullet grazed his chin and neck. Neither officer returned hearth. The wounded officer was launched from the hospital Sunday afternoon.
Police are conducting exams on the suspect’s weapon that was recovered on the precinct to find out whether or not it was utilized in each focused assaults, police mentioned.
The dual assaults have spurred responses from police officers and President Trump who referred to as on New York’s Democratic leaders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, to work with legislation enforcement to finish the hatred and violence directed at cops.
“I grew up in New York Metropolis and, over a few years, acquired to look at how GREAT NYC’s ‘Most interesting’ are,” Trump tweeted. “Now, due to weak management at Governor & Mayor, stand away (water thrown at them) rules, and lack of help, our great NYC police are below assault. Cease this now!”
“It’s a double miracle that we aren’t getting ready for 2 funerals proper now,” New York Metropolis Police Benevolent Affiliation President Patrick J. Lynch mentioned in a press release.
Each Cuomo and de Blasio condemned the shootings. Cuomo said the assaults left him “horrified” and that town has “zero tolerance” for any assaults on police. De Blasio informed New Yorkers these had been clear makes an attempt “to assassinate” cops.
“There’s an excessive amount of hatred on the market, an excessive amount of hatred usually and an excessive amount of hatred directed at our officers,” de Blasio mentioned at a information convention.
The assaults come amid rising tensions between town’s 34,000-member drive and the administration of de Blasio, who has applied a number of measures that critics say are hostile to police.
De Blasio oversaw a continued dramatic decrease of the stop and frisk policy, which gave beat cops huge latitude to detain and search individuals for weapons, made the Massive Apple a sanctuary metropolis and has slated the Rikers Island jail for closure. As well as, new felony justice reforms handed by state lawmakers successfully finish money bail for all kinds of felony suspects.
Fox Information’ Mike Arroyo and Greg Wilson contributed to this report.