Gunman kills two New York police officers after posting anti-police rants on Instagram
A gunman shot and killed two uniformed New York police officers in their patrol car in a cold-blooded attack that followed weeks of outrage over police killings of unarmed black men.
The two officers, one a newlywed, were shot in the head through the window of their vehicle in broad daylight at 2.47pm in Brooklyn.
Police named the shooter as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who shot and seriously wounded his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore early Saturday before driving to Brooklyn to murder the two officers.
He shot himself in the head on the platform, where Bratton said a silver semi-automatic firearm was recovered near his body.
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said social media postings showed that Brinsley "had a very strong bias against police officers."
These are two photos he uploaded on Instagram shortly before he killed the two officers.
“They Take 1 Of Ours... Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” read a comment next to the photo of a silver handgun, referencing the deaths at the hands of police of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
Commissioner Bratton said: "Today, two of New York's finest were shot and killed with no warning, no provocation.
"They were quite simply assassinated."
Wenjian Liu, a seven-year police veteran who got married two months ago, and Rafael Ramos, who leaves behind a 13-year-old son, were “ambushed and murdered” as they sat in the front seats of a marked NYPD police car, officials said.
Neither officer had an opportunity to draw their weapons before Brinsley opened fire with several rounds and fled to a nearby subway station.
The police chief said the motive was still under investigation, but did not rule out a connection to anti-police protests that have swept the country.
“One of the unfortunate aspects at times is some people get caught up in these and go in directions they should not,” he said.
Civil rights activist outraged by killings
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has used Garner and Brown’s deaths to campaign for sweeping police reform, also said he was outraged.
He said his National Action Network saw non-violence as the only way to fight for justice.
“An eye for an (eye) leaves the whole world blind,” he wrote on Twitter.