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Police charge Bronx gunman accused of NYPD 'assassination attempt'

Posted: 8:11 PM, Feb 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-10 14:17:01-05
Robert Williams

THE BRONX — Police charged the Bronx man accused of ambushing and shooting two NYPD officers with attempted murder on Sunday night.

Robert Williams, 45, was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest for the shootings.

Williams has a lengthy criminal history, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

"He was paroled in 2017 for an incident in which an individual in the Bronx was shot, a subsequent carjacking of a female, and then a crash of a car where he engaged in a gunfight with members of the New York City Police Department.

That was in 2002," said Shea. "He was convicted of attempted murder and was paroled in 2017."

Police said that on Sunday, just before 8:00 a.m., Williams walked into the 41st precinct, on Longwood Avenue at Bruckner Boulevard, and opened fire, using a 9-millimeter handgun. One bullet hit a police lieutenant in his left arm. The lieutenant was identified by his union as Jose Gautreaux. He's expected to make a full recovery.

Three different surveillance cameras captured what happened.

After Williams quickly ran out of ammunition, according to Commissioner Shea, he fell face down on the floor, threw away his empty gun, and officers were able to subdue him.

Williams, initially hospitalized for is own injuries but taken to central booking late Sunday night, now faces felony charges, police said.

These charges also extend from the crimes he's accused of carrying out Saturday night.

Around 8:30 p.m., four blocks from the 41st precinct, Williams walked up to an NYPD van, according to police. They said that Williams pulled out his gun, and the officer behind the wheel of the van sped away as soon as he realized the danger.

Still, Williams managed to fire off shots at the van, one of which struck Officer Paul Stroffolino in the chin and neck, less than an inch from an artery.

Stroffolino managed to escape the shooting in good enough shape that he was released from Lincoln Hospital on Sunday morning. Lt. Gautreaux remained at the same hospital overnight on Sunday. He's anticipated to be released on Monday.

Williams had been set to appear in court soon on a separate charge before this weekend's shootings.