NYPD Officer Dies After Being Shot in the Head During Gunfight

Police Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was killed in the line of duty when he was shot in the head during a gunfight in East Harlem.

An NYPD housing officer was killed Tuesday when he was shot in the head during a gunfight in Manhattan, officials said.

Police Officer Randolph Holder, 33, and other plainclothes officers initially responded to reports of shots firednear the FDR Drive in East Harlem about 8:30 p.m., where a victim told cops that his bike was stolen.

Officers spotted the alleged gunman along a pedestrian overpass above the highway near East 120th Street and exchanged gunfire, and Holder was shot in the forehead by the suspect, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said during a press conference. 

Holder died at 10:22 p.m. at Harlem Hospital. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the NYPD named the suspect in the shooting as Tyrone Howard. He is in custody but has not yet been charged, they said.

Howard, who has multiple arrests to his name, was also wanted for a shooting on September 1 and had an active warrant out for his arrest, the NYPD's Jim O'Neill said at a press conference.

Holder was a third-generation police officer who followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, Bratton said. 

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Holder emigrated from Guyana and joined the NYPD in July 2010, working in Police Service Area (PSA) 5, which deploys officers to police public housing developments located in three precincts in Manhattan. He was not married. 

Police arrested a suspect, who had been shot in the legs, near East 124th Street. He was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Hospital.

“I think all of us will tell you this is the hardest thing that we do, that we mourn one of our own. I’ve been doing this for 45 years. It doesn’t get easier. It never gets easier and it should never get easier,” Bratton said. 

The Commissioner extended the department's condolences to Holder's family, saying the fallen officer's father "sought to comfort the officers from PSA 5. He was strong enough and brave enough to go in and address them. As they tried to comfort him, he in fact was comforting them."

Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke during the somber press conference at the hospital. 

“We’re all in mourning tonight. This whole city is in mourning. We’re mourning a man that gave his life as a guardian for all of us," de Blasio said. "We are humbled by Officer Randolph Holder’s example of service and courage and sacrifice. Our hearts are heavy. We offer our thoughts and our prayers to his family who are experiencing unimaginable pain as we saw earlier when we gathered with them."

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Other elected officials also said they were devastated by Holder's murder. 

"We are heartbroken by the loss of NYPD Officer Holder and the unfathomable frequency with which we find our City mourning the loss of young and promising officers," Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx) and Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn).

"This level of violence against the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us everyday is simply unacceptable," they said. 

Holder is the fourth NYPD officer killed in the line of duty in the past 11 months.

Officer Brian Moore, 25, was shot in the head while sitting in an unmarked patrol car in Queens last May. Officers Rafael Ramos and WenjianLiu were shot in the head as they sat in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant in December 2014. 

“New York City police officers everyday go out and carry themselves on the street like superheroes on the street. But the reality is, when we’re attacked, we bleed," Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. "When we bleed, we die. And when we die, we cry."

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