Two New York City Police Department officers were shot in a spree that ended Sunday after the gunman suspected of being responsible for both incidents stormed a Bronx police station.
On Saturday night, one officer was injured when a gunman fired at two officers sitting in a parked vehicle. On Sunday, a man later identified as Robert Williams, 45, opened fire after entering the 41st Precinct police station in the Bronx.
“He immediately pulls out a gun and fires multiple rounds towards the desk area,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference, according to the New York Post. “He then walks into an area beside that desk and fires several rounds.”
Lt. Jose Gautreaux was shot in the arm. Williams threw himself on the floor and surrendered when he was out of ammunition.
“I will point out that this coward immediately lay down, but only after he ran out of bullets,” Shea told reporters.
Shea said that Williams intended to kill police officers during his spree. Sunday’s attack was recorded on the station’s surveillance cameras.
“This is not a liquor store robbery interrupted. This was a premeditated assassination attempt. It is only by the grace of God … that we are not talking about police officers murdered inside a New York City police precinct,” Shea said, according to the Post.
Shea said that the suspect approached the van, which had its emergency lights flashing and asked a question.
After getting an answer, the suspect fired a gun into the vehicle, Shea said, according to CNN. The officer in the driver’s seat yelled, “Gun!” when the shooter pulled out a weapon. Neither of the officers returned fire, Shea said.
The driver was hit in the neck near his chin but managed to drive off out of range so that he and his partner could exchange seats. The gunman fled.
“I just want to say his partner as well as him were heroic about how they handled the situation, and his partner, as far as getting him into the hospital in short order,” Shea said, according to the New York Post. “It was a phenomenal job, keeping their cool.”
#BREAKING: Video shows NYPD cops ambushed in the Bronx
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) February 9, 2020
Shea said Williams had been convicted of attempted murder in 2002 in an incident in which Williams shot one person, carjacked a vehicle, and was involved in a gunfight with police.
Shea said Williams was paroled in 2017, but had a court date coming on a new charge. He did not give details of the current charges against Williams.
Shea noted that the shootings follow high-profile anti-police demonstrations in New York City.
They also come in an era where anti-police action is becoming more common.
“Just remember these things are not unrelated,” he said, according to CNN.
“We have people marching in New York City last week and I condemned it and I condemn it right here again today — using profanities against the Police Department. Everyone should be speaking out against this, and you have to be careful about the words you use, whether it’s on social media or on written papers or speaking, because words matter and words affect people’s behavior.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.