AFRICANGLOBE – A New York Police Department officer was shot in the head while pursuing a suspect in East Harlem and was pronounced dead in a hospital Tuesday night, police said.
Officer Randolph Holder, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, was near East 120th Street and FDR Drive when he was struck by a bullet just before 9 p.m., police said. The 33-year-old later died at Harlem Hospital, making him the fourth NYPD officer to die in the line of duty in 11 months.
The officer and his partner were investigating a shooting near East 102nd Street and the FDR Drive. Witnesses said several men fled the scene along a footpath heading north on the FDR Drive, with one apparently stealing someone’s bicycle at gunpoint along the way, Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
The officers, in plainclothes, approached the suspect along a pedestrian overpass of FDR Drive, and exchanged gunfire, Mr. Bratton said. Mr. Holder was then shot in the head. He died at 10:22 p.m. at Harlem Hospital.
The suspect, who was shot in the leg, ran north on the FDR Drive promenade but was captured near 124th Street and taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he remained in custody, Mr. Bratton said. He wasn’t identified.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking during a somber news conference at the hospital Tuesday night, described Mr. Holder as “a man who—in the words of Abraham Lincoln—gave the last full measure of his devotion.”
Mr. Bratton said Mr. Holder joined the NYPD in 2010 and wasn’t married. He is an immigrant from Guyana, where his father and grandfather served as police officers. “So three generations served here with us in the New York City Police Department, and tonight did what every other officer in the NYPD does when the call comes—he ran toward danger,” Mr. Bratton said. “It was the last time he will respond to that call.”
Mr. Bratton said the officer’s father tried to comfort his son’s fellow officers from PSA 5, a public housing district. “He was strong enough and brave enough to go in and address them,” Mr. Bratton said. “As they tried to comfort him, he, in fact, was comforting them—an extraordinary individual.”
Mr. Holder is the sixth on-duty officer to be shot since December 2014 and the fourth to die. In May, Officer Brian Moore, 25, was shot in the face through the window of his unmarked police car by a man he was attempting to stop. He later died.
In January 2015, Officers Andrew Dossi and Aliro Pellerano were wounded in a shootout while searching for suspects in the armed robbery of a Bronx grocery store. They survived.
Just before Christmas in 2014, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed in an ambush in Brooklyn. Officials said they appeared to have been randomly targeted because of their uniforms by suspected gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley.
“Four police officers murdered in 11 months—that’s about as bad as it gets,” Mr. Bratton said.
By: Mark Morales And Josh Dawsey