Two police officers sit in their patrol car
in Brooklyn and are shot point-blank and killed
by a man who travels from Baltimore vowing
to kill officers. The man commits suicide with
the same gun. The officers, Wenjian Liu and
Rafael Ramos are in the car near Myrtle and
Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant in
the shadow of a housing project when Ismaaiyl
Brinsley walks up to the passenger-side window,
assumes a firing stance and shoots several rounds
into the heads and upper bodies of the officers,
who never draw their weapons. The shooter then
flees down the street and onto the platform of a
nearby subway station, where he kills himself as
officers close in. The police recover a silver semi-
automatic handgun. Brinsley has a rap sheet of
crimes that includes robbery and carrying a
concealed gun, and is believed to have shot his
former girlfriend near Baltimore before traveling
to Brooklyn. He makes statements on social media
suggesting that he plans to kill police officers and
is angered about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown
cases. Authorities in Baltimore send a warning that he
has made these threats, but it is received at the same
time as the killings. The shootings, the chase, the
suicide and the failed bid to save the lives of the
officers turn a busy commercial intersection on the
Saturday before Christmas into a scene of pandemonium.
The city has seen some 300 killings so far this year,
a number so low as to be unheard-of two decades ago.
Acknowledgement: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/nyregion/two-police-officers-shot-in-their-patrol-car-in-brooklyn.html# | by Benjamin Mueller and Al Baker. Accessed November 30, 2017 and February 21, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).