Ex-con fires into vehicle, kills NYC police officer
NEW YORK — A New York City police officer was shot to death early Wednesday, ambushed inside a mobile command post by an ex-convict who had ranted online about his treatment in prison and about officers getting away with killing people, authorities said.
The gunman was killed by police about a block away.
Miosotis Familia, a 12-year member of the Police Department, was writing in her notebook in the front seat of the vehicle when the killer strode up to it in a Bronx neighborhood around 12:30 a.m. and fired one round through the passenger-side window, striking her in the head, authorities said.
Familia’s partner radioed frantically for help, and police caught up to 34-year-old Alexander Bonds, who was fatally shot after pulling a revolver, police said.
A bystander was struck by a bullet in that encounter and is in stable condition, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.
“Based on what we know right now, this was an unprovoked attack against police officers who want to keep this great city safe,” O’Neill said at a news conference at St. Barnabas Hospital, where Familia was pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m. Outside, a line of officers saluted her. Some escorted her body to the medical examiner’s office.
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Familia and expressed the city’s grief.
“She was on duty, serving this city, protecting people, doing what she believed in and doing the job she loved,” he said at the news conference. “And after this shocking and sudden attack, her fellow officers came to her aid immediately.”
Familia, 48, had been stationed in the mobile command post, which was set up in the highcrime neighborhood after a triple shooting in March.
Bonds had been sentenced to six years in Attica prison for an armed robbery out of Syracuse, N.Y., and had been paroled in 2013. He previously was convicted in 2004 of criminal sale of a controlled substance near a school, a felony, state prison records indicate. He entered the state prison system in March of that year and was paroled seven months later.
Bonds also was arrested in January 2001 in New York City, accused of kicking an officer and punching the officer with brass knuckles, a law enforcement official said. The arrest record appeared to be sealed, and further information about how the case was resolved was not available.
He was also arrested in 2000, accused of possession of marijuana, and had several arrests starting in 2001 on suspicion of selling a controlled substance to an undercover officer, the official said.
In a video posted on Facebook in September, Bonds talked about the treatment of people by officers and about how hard life was behind bars.
“Don’t think every brother, cousin, uncle you got that get killed in jail is because of a Blood or Crip or Latin King killing them. Nah, police be killing them and saying that an inmate killed them,” he said in the video.
He added: “I got broken ribs for a reason, son, we gonna shake. We gonna do something. We can’t be dying for free, getting raped for free, just for them to give you hush money. … I don’t want the money. I want justice.”
At another point, Bonds alluded to encountering officers and said: “I’m not hesitating. It ain’t happening.”
Police said they were trying to identify the motive for the shooting. A law enforcement official said detectives have reviewed the Facebook video.
While tensions have been running high between police and black people around the country, there was little or no immediate indication that Familia’s killing had a racial dimension. Bonds was black; Familia was black and Hispanic. Her family is from the Dominican Republic. She apparently had no previous contact with Bonds.
Bonds was caught on surveillance video leaving a convenience store, then moving tightly along the wall, pulling his hoodie over his head and walking purposefully toward the police vehicle. The video didn’t capture the shooting but showed him running away with a gun in his hand, police said.
Familia, a mother of three, including a set of twins, lived with her mother and worked the midnight shift in the Bronx. Family members and friends said she became an officer to help her community.
“Put it this way: She’d give you the shirt off her back. She was the sweetest person you ever want to meet,” neighbor Tom Ritter said. He said his son, now 22, had played with Familia’s children and that she practically “adopted” him.
When he heard that she had been shot, he said, “My heart dropped.”
Information for this article was contributed by Colleen Long, Jennifer Peltz,Tom Hays and Karen Matthews of The Associated Press; and by Benjamin Mueller, Al Baker and Sewell Chan of The New York Times.
Police officers walk past the shattered window of an NYPD vehicle near where a police officer was shot in the Bronx section of New York on Wednesday.