Outrage After Police Get Ambushed Twice by Gunman

The suspect's grandmother says he's been 'upset' since his son died
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 9, 2020 1:00 PM CST
Outrage After 'Assassination Attempts' on Police
New York City police officers work the scene of a police involved shooting outside the 41st precinct Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A gunman is in custody after he ambushed police officers in the Bronx twice in 12 hours, wounding two in attacks that ignited outrage from officials who blamed the violence on an atmosphere of anti-police rhetoric, the AP reports. The man, Robert Williams, was captured after he walked into a police station in the Bronx and started shooting early Sunday, hitting a lieutenant in the arm and narrowly missing other police personnel before he ran out of bullets, lay down, and tossed his pistol, police said. That attack came just hours after the suspect approached a patrol van in the same part of the Bronx and fired at two officers inside, wounding one, police said. Despite multiple shots fired in both incidents, nobody was killed and all are expected to recover, police said.

Shea called the gunman a "coward" and said he had a lengthy criminal history, including a 2002 shooting and carjacking in which he also fired a gun at police officers. Shea said the man was paroled from prison in 2017 after an attempted murder conviction. The commissioner also lashed out at criminal justice reform activists who have held demonstrations against excessive force by police in recent months. He suggested that the protests helped create an anti-police environment. Mayor Bill de Blasio also suggested that anti-police sentiment had gotten out of hand. Williams' grandmother tells the New York Post he's been "upset" since his 18-year-old son was shot dead in June 2018—apparently a self-inflicted wound while playing with a friend's gun. "That was his only child," she says.

(Read more police stories.)

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