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Man who ambushed police in Bronx precinct has a long criminal history: cops

Posted: 1:39 PM, Feb 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-10 10:44:10-05
Man opens fire inside 41st precinct in the Bronx, February 9, 2020

LONGWOOD — Police are calling the man accused of shooting two NYPD officers in separate attacks in the Bronx over the weekend a “career criminal.”

At a news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio at Lincoln Hospital, where the officers were taken for their injuries, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea spelled out much of the man’s criminal actions.

“The coward from this morning’s shooting is in police custody,” Shea said. “He has a lengthy violent criminal history.”

Shea said the suspected gunman, Robert Williams, was convicted in 2002 of attempted murder—but was paroled in 2017. The 2002 incident resulted in a person being shot, a carjacking, and a subsequent gunfight with police after he crashed a car, Shea said.

At the news presser, Lou Turco, president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, underscored Saturday and Sunday’s brazen attacks on the officers as he questioned criminal justice reform.

“If he has the audacity to shoot at officers in uniform, guess what he’s doing to civilians of this city—there’s a lot of these people out there,” Turco said. “We need to get in front of this criminal justice reform. We need to work together to fix this thing because right now, the City of New York’s residents are in danger because of this.”

Police say this same man is responsible for shooting at two officers on Saturday night—and then opening fire inside a precinct statiion house on Sunday morning in the Longwood section of the Bronx.

The suspected gunman, police said, injured one of the officers sitting in the van on Saturday. That officer was shot in the chin and neck, according to police. He was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday morning, prior to the officer's release from the hospital, the same gunman went on a shooting rampage inside a police precinct just five blocks away from the first incident, police said.

The officer who was shot in the precinct in the second shooting is expected to recover from his injuries.