(NEW YORK) — The gunman who allegedly shot and killed a New York City police officer has been charged with murder, officials said.
Tyrone Howard, 30, of East Harlem, who has prior gang-related offenses, was also charged with robbery in the shooting death of Officer Randolph Holder and stealing a bike in the process, officials said. He was set to be arraigned Wednesday night.
Holder and other officers were responding to reports of gunshots in East Harlem, which police sources said was connected to gang activity.
Howard has been previously arrested multiple times, including a year ago in a case relating to gang activity, officials said.
Howard was also wanted for a shooting on Sept. 1 and there was an active warrant for his arrest, according to Jim O’Neill, the NYPD’s chief of department, speaking at a news conference Wednesday with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The NYPD’s Manhattan violent felonies squad was actively working the case, O’Neill said, noting, “We were hunting him but obviously [we were] unsuccessful.”
De Blasio extended his condolences to Holder’s family and vowed, “We will not stop in the relentless pursuit of the violent few.”
The incident on Tuesday night started as a gang dispute between members of rival gangs that operate in the adjacent Jefferson Houses, East River houses and the Wagner Houses, police sources told ABC News, noting that there is an ongoing dispute between gangs in the three apartment complexes.
Billy Aubry, the NYPD’s chief of detectives for Manhattan said that two police officers on the roof of one of those locations observed shots being fired down below and responded.
The gangs got into a dispute in front of a parking garage at 445 East 102nd Street and that is where shots were fired, police sources said.
“We know from the evidence recovered at the scene that there were at least three firearms that were fired,” Aubry said.
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