Guyana-born New York policeman shot dead in Harlem

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 11:05 by GxMedia

NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, 33, of Brooklyn, was fatally shot in the head during a foot pursuit in East Harlem on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, Police Commissioner William Bratton said. Police recovered two firearms at East 120th Street and FDR Drive in Manhattan, officials said. Photo Credit: NYPD; John Roca

(NEW YORK’S A New York Police Department (NYPD) plainclothes officer died late Tuesday night at a Harlem hospital after a suspect shot him in the head during a foot pursuit in East Harlem, Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference at the hospital.

Bratton identified the slain officer as Randolph Holder, 33, a five-year veteran assigned to the housing bureau. He was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m. at Harlem Hospital Center, Bratton said. Holder lived in Brooklyn, an NYPD spokesman said.

A suspect was in custody at another hospital after being wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police, Bratton said. The suspect is expected to be charged later Wednesday, and his name will be released at that time, NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said.

Bratton said Holder, a native of Guyana who was unmarried, joined the NYPD in 2010 and came from a law enforcement family. His father and grandfather worked as police officers in Guyana, Bratton said.

“Tonight he did what every other officer in the NYPD does,” Bratton said, flanked by Mayor Bill de Blasio and other NYPD and city officials. “When the call comes, he ran towards danger, and it was the last time he will respond to that call.”

De Blasio appealed to New Yorkers to “offer prayers to his family who are experiencing unimaginable pain . . . It’s a sadness that is so hard to describe. We are fighting to understand.”

Holder had been taken to the hospital in critical condition after the shooting, which occurred some time after 8:30 p.m., the NYPD said. The officer, assigned to Police Service Area 5 in Manhattan, was shot while pursuing a man with a gun in the vicinity of East 103rd Street and the FDR Drive. The unit patrols public housing in the area of the 23rd, 25th and 28th precincts.

Police recovered two firearms — a semiautomatic handgun and a revolver — at East 120th Street and FDR Drive, officials said.

Bratton said the suspect was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan with gunshot wounds. He remained there early Wednesday morning, but his condition was not released.

Just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, dozens of NYPD officers, both uniformed and plainclothes, gathered at the Harlem hospital waiting for an update on the wounded officer’s condition.

Bratton and de Blasio announced Holder’s death at the news conference about 45 minutes later.

The FDR Drive remained closed early Wednesday morning from East 96th Street to East 125th Street as NYPD investigators to searched for evidence.

Bratton said Holder was the fourth NYPD officer to be killed in the line of duty in less than a year. In May, NYPD Officer Brian Moore, 25, of Massapequa, was shot in the head as he and a partner patrolled in Queens Village. Moore died two days later, and Demetrius Blackwell, of Queens Village, was charged with the Plainedge High School graduate’s killing.

Days before Christmas, Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, both of Brooklyn, were gunned down execution style in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, by a man who took his own life a short time later.

“Four police officers murdered in 11 months,” Bratton said at the news conference. “That’s about as bad as it gets.”