Two New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were shot dead while sitting in their car on a Brooklyn street corner, last Saturdy.
New York police officials believe that the suspect was 28-year-old Ismaayil Brinsley, who had declared an attack on police officers as revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Brinsley then turned the gun and shot himself. His body was later found on a nearby subway platform.
Brinsely had also allegedly shot his girlfriend in the stomach in Baltimore earlier that day.
Although Baltimore police sent a warning to the NYPD of Brinsley’s likely route to New York, the fax arrived at 2:45 pm, only five minutes before the attack.
Just hours before the shooting, Brinsley had posted threats to his social media accounts, saying that he was going to, “Put wings on pigs.” He had also posted a photo of himself holding a silver automatic handgun, which was later ruled the murder weapon of the assault.
“No warning, no provocation — they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Brinsley had a criminal record before the attack. He had been arrested 15 times in Georgia and four times in Ohio. Police stated that Brinsley traveled frequently from southern states to New York, where he had a son. He was said to have been in the city earlier that week.
Brinsley was not alone in his police threats and verbal online attacks. The hashtag #Shootthepolice had already gone viral on Twitter, with masses of people calling for the murder of officers around the country in protest of alleged white police brutality on African Americans.
Were this the intention, Brinsley had failed. Ramos was hispanic, and Liu was Asian. No white officers were harmed in the outcome of the attack.