2 NYPD officers shot, killed inside patrol car in Brooklyn

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Two New York City police officers were shot and killed ambush-style Saturday afternoon as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, Police Commissioner William Bratton said.

The gunman approached the passenger side of the patrol car and opened fire several times, fatally wounding officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, authorities said at an evening press conference.

They were "shot and killed with no warning, no provocation," Bratton told reporters. "They were quite simply, assassinated."

Both were shot in the head, Bratton said.

The families of the fallen officers rushed to Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday, as dozens of police officers gathered in a show of support.

The officers -- one with two years' experience, the other with seven years on the job -- were normally assigned to downtown Brooklyn, but were working a "critical response" detail in an area with higher crime, police said.

Police identified the shooter as Ismaaiyl Brinsley. He was found dead in a nearby subway station from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The gunman arrived in New York from Baltimore, but had a residence in Atlanta, Bratton said.

Police were investigating posts he allegedly made on social media.

The shooting occurred near Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the attack "an unspeakable act of barbarism."

Neighborhood residents were jolted.

"This can't happen. If you mad at somebody, be mad at the person that you are mad at. Now, we have two families that (are) missing somebody for the holidays," Shaniqua Pervis told CNN affiliate WABC.

"Where is your humanity? I know it's a war going on and shoutout to Eric Garner's family and everybody else who lost somebody, but you're not at his house, on his lawn. This is two (officers). You don't even know if (they were) good or bad. I don't condone this, and I'm not with it."

The woman was referring to the controversial July death of an unarmed black man after New York police officers on Staten Island wrestled him to the ground, with one of the officers wrapping his arm around Garner's neck in a chokehold.

A grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer in the Garner case, as well as a separate grand jury's refusal to indict an officer in a controversial police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, led to nationwide protests against the police.

In a statement, activist the Rev. Al Sharpton said the Garner family was outraged by news of the shootings.

"Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases," the statement said. "We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown... The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad."

Last Saturday, two New York officers were assaulted on the Brooklyn Bridge during demonstrations that have been mostly peaceful. Police arrested four people.

Tensions between the community and police have heightened around the country since the Brown and Garner deaths.

"This could not have come at a worse time," City Councilman Robert Cornegy told CNN affiliate PIX.

So far, police have not commented on the motive for the Brooklyn shootings, except to say the officers were not engaging the shooter in any way when they were shot.

The city's police union and Mayor Bill de Blasio have sparred over the treatment of officers.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association recently sent a form for members to sign requesting the mayor not attend funerals of anyone killed in the line of duty, accusing de Blasio of "consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve."

The mayor's office expressed disappointment with the PBA.

"Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics," the city said in a letter. "The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families."

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  • karen

    well the reverends got what they wanted 2 police officers executed for brown and eric not a peep from either they are probably poppomg the champagne right now .

    my deepest sympathies for the two families god rest thier beautiful souls

    • Ismael

      Jesse , Al and Pfleger are evil in disguise. The day they die the devil will be waiting with open arms. If I were family of these officers I would spit in their faces. They(all three) are nothing but human thrash. My condolences to the families of these officers. I stand for law and order, they put their lives on the line everyday to protect You and me.

  • Chinook

    The media has a large amount of responsibility for these murders. Their biased, infamatory, and inaccurate reporting of both the Brown and Garner incidents has led people to believe that they have the right to resist arrest and fight the police. Even while reporting this story they make reference to “the choke hold death”. Garner didn’t die from a choke hold, the officer didn’t even have his arm on his neck when he said he couldn’t breath. But you can’t count on the media to let facts get in the way of their agenda. Nor do I believe they will have any guilt for the murders of actual innocent people they instigated.

    • Bee keeper

      Yes! And why has the media not gone out of their way to describe the race of this coward? They certainly had no problem using the “unarmed black” and “white officer” verbiage ad nauseum. CNN and MSNBC are the worst offenders.

  • Born justice

    The media has no responsibility for the death of these slain officers. Is the media responsible for the deaths of eric garner; or what about akai gurley? Blood has spilled on both sides, citizens and law enforcement…..Not good!

    • Ismael

      The media is partly responsible. All those TV channels having lots of people making irresponsible comments disregarding the safety of the innocent people in this country. The number one reason this is happening is due to the lack of respect for law and order. Just do what police officers ask You to do and You will breathe. Now isn’t this a simple request? Al, Jesse and Pfleger protect the criminals, We are the silent majority, We obey the law and respect our police officers no matter the color.

  • rocky

    It will be interesting to see if DeBlasio has the nerve to try to attend these officers’ funerals. The NYPD should walk off their jobs demanding DeBlasio steps down. All of us that respects law and order in America are counting on the New York officers to take a stand .This country is hanging by a thread of erupting into total lawlessness , chaos , and anarchy. I believe there will be an epidemic of police being executed nationwide. It’s all agitated by the Soviet style media and by the criminal racists Obama , Holder and Sharpton . The concept of civic police departments will soon be replaced by martial law. It’s all by design.

  • Born justice

    The media is not responsible for the deaths of these slain officers. Is the media responsible for the deaths of eric garner; or what about akai gurley? My sympathy goes out to both sides civilians and police…

    • Bee keeper

      You must work for CNN. The media only told 1/2 of the story with those cases and are fueling the flames for a potential race war. Every picture of brown was him in his graduation gown and they painted this criminal as an angel. With Garner, the media did not say was those officers were trying to get him to leave that storefront for 15 minutes, but all you see is the choke. In both cases, due proces was followed and a jury of OUR peers (black, white, Hispanic) found there was no crime committed. If you believe everything the media tells you then you are just a puppet.

  • Zebra Stripes

    How can this be when gun nuts keep telling us criminals only use their guns in gun free zones?
    Well, at least the NRA made sure he could get a gun when he wanted one.