Reproduced from DNAInfo
by Katie Honan
EAST HARLEM — NYPD divers recovered a firearm from the East River early Sunday that may have been used to fatally shoot Police Officer Randolph Holder last week, officials said.
The gun was recovered by Det. John Mortimer, a veteran diver with the NYPD’s scuba team.
It was located 20 feet below the surface, 100 feet north and 40 feet out from where a magazine from the gun was recovered previously, the NYPD said.
The weapon “fits the same characteristics” as the one they’ve been searching for since Holder’s death, and will be tested immediately for any prints, Aubry said. They will also test fire the gun.
Traffic was shut down on the FDR Drive early Sunday to allow more than 100 police officers to scour the area between East 120th and East 123rd streets, according to the NYPD.
Holder was shot in the head by career criminal Tyrone Howard, 33, during a shootout between rival gangs in a park near the Wagner Houses, next to the FDR Drive, police said.
Holder, a five year veteran of the NYPD, was shot when he and his partner confronted one of the suspected gang members who had robbed a man of his bike as he attempted to flee from East 102nd Street and the FDR Drive on Oct. 20.
Aubry said testing the gun for prints and DNA was standard when recovering a gun, and wasn’t sure what impact the river would have on the forensic evidence.
“I know it’s been in the river and I know that you would assume there would be no prints or DNA but let’s let the forensic experts take a look at it,” he said.
He added that any piece of evidence — whether a gun or a bullet — is “very important” to their investigation.
“We have an obligation to Police Officer Holder and his family to find every piece of evidence that we can,” he said.
Holder will be laid to rest on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York at 110-31 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica.
He will be brought to his native Guyana for a burial.