(NEW YORK) — The gun used to shoot and kill NYPD Police Officer Randolph Holder, whose funeral was Wednesday, was found to have been stolen in 2011 from a former South Carolina state trooper, police said.
Roderick Hughes, who worked for the South Carolina Highway Patrol from 2003-2009, purchased the .40-caliber Glock legally in 2008 at Lawmen’s Safety Supply in Columbia, South Carolina.
The highway patrol transitioned from using that type of Glock beginning in December 2007, and those previous service weapons were sold to Lawmen’s Safety Supply, according to authorities. Troopers would have had the option of purchasing their old service weapon from that outside vendor.
The gun ended up in East Harlem and in the hands of Tyrone Howard, who is charged with Officer Holder’s murder. It was recovered this week in New York City’s East River by NYPD divers, police said.
Holder, 33, a 5-year veteran housing officer, was responding to a report of a shooting last week. After arriving on the scene, there was an exchange of gunfire, and Holder, a native of Guyana, was shot in the head, police said. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but later died.
NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday the so-called “Iron Pipeline” that brings guns to New York from southern states with looser laws “remains a significant problem.”
“We have a spigot that’s wide open down there and we don’t have a national or local ability to shut that spigot down at the moment,” Bratton said.
He also blasted Congress for its inability to pass gun control legislation, saying “they just don’t get it.”
Nearly 20,000 firearms were lost or stolen in 2014 alone from licensed firearms dealers, who are required to report missing guns to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
However, firearm thefts from private citizens often go unreported, according to the ATF.
The ATF noted that it traced 256 guns that were recovered in New York State criminal investigations in 2014 back to South Carolina.
Stolen guns frequently end up being used in crimes, law enforcement sources said, and sometimes those guns are stolen from police. The gun used to kill Kate Steinle in San Francisco last summer was stolen from the car of a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said.
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