Two New York Police Department officers were shot and wounded in a streak of “assassination attempts” that concluded Sunday morning when the gunman behind the attacks opened fire inside an NYPD station house on Longwood Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood.
ABC News reports that two officers “narrowly escaped with their lives when a gunman fired into their patrol van Saturday night, wounding one of them in an attack officials called an attempted assassination.” One of the officers in that attack — the one at the wheel of the marked patrol car — was struck in the chin and neck but “avoided serious injury.”
“The ambush, which Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said ‘should outrage all New Yorkers,’ happened just before 8:30 pm in the South Bronx,” ABC News says.
Less than twelve hours later, according to the New York Post, the same gunman entered a police station in the Bronx and opened fire, trying a second time to assassinate New York police officers.
“Just hours after ambushing a pair of cops and shooting one in the chin, an unhinged gunman stormed a Bronx police precinct and emptied his clip — striking a lieutenant before being taken into custody by officers, officials said,” per the New York Post. “The armed man, identified by sources as Robert Williams, walked into the station house on Longwood Avenue in Huntspoint around 8 a.m. and started shooting, according to the sources.”
Cops quickly subdued Williams, but not before one officer was struck in the arm.
“The NYPD said the gunman walked into the 41st precinct just before 8 a.m. Sunday and opened fire on several uniformed officers as well as a civilian employee,” according to a local NBC affiliate. “The shooter struck a lieutenant positioned by a front desk, striking him in the upper left arm, said Commissioner Dermot Shea.”
“The coward from this morning’s shooting was quickly taken into custody. We are confident he’s responsible for last night’s shooting, as well. Below is a picture of the firearm recovered & believed to have been used in these attacks,” Shea said in a statement. “The investigation is active & ongoing.”
Shea added that the suspect, who was caught on tape committing both acts, is well known to Bronx authorities: “[The suspect] has lengthy violent criminal history, he was paroled in 2017 for an incident in which an individual in the Bronx was shot, a subsequent carjacking of a female, and then a crash of a car where he engaged in a gunfight with members of the New York City police department. That was in 2002. He was convicted of attempted murder and was paroled in 2017.”
The two officers shot and wounded are expected to survive. The alleged shooter was wounded while being apprehended, but the extent of his injuries are unknown. His girlfriend was also taken into custody late Sunday morning.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the attacks on Twitter Sunday morning, laying the blame at the foot of New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, neither of whom are known for their commitment to protecting law enforcement officers.
“I grew up in New York City and, over many years, got to watch how GREAT NYC’s ‘Finest’ are,” Trump tweeted. “Now, because of weak leadership at Governor & Mayor, stand away (water thrown at them) regulations, and lack of support, our wonderful NYC police are under assault. Stop this now!”