A gunman who fired a hail of bullets inside the Bronx’s 41st Precinct stationhouse and shot a lieutenant on Sunday morning may be the same “coward” who shot and wounded a cop last night, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
The gunman — identified in published reports as Robert Williams — entered the Longwood Avenue headquarters just before 8 a.m. on Feb. 8 and opened fire on officers at the main desk. Shea said the suspect walked over to the desk and continued firing, striking a male lieutenant in the upper left arm.
Though wounded, the commissioner said, the injured lieutenant returned fire, but did not hit Williams. Other officers managed to subdue the gunman and place him under arrest; apparently, Shea noted, the gunman laid down on the floor after running out of bullets.
Shea said the NYPD is “confident” that Williams is the same individual who shot at two 41st Precinct officers — hitting one of them in the chin and neck — on Simpson Street last night.
“For the second time in less than 12 hours, members of the NYPD have been targeted specifically and shot in attempts to murder the very people who work so hard day and night to keep our city safe,” Shea said.
The commissioner noted that Williams was previously convicted of attempted murder for a 2002 incident in which he shot an individual, carjacked a woman’s vehicle and engaged in a gunfight with police officers. He was subsequently paroled in 2017.
“At this time, we are confident that this is the same person who attempted to assassinate our police officers last night,” Shea said, cautioning that the investigation remains ongoing.
The injured lieutenant, a 15-year member of the NYPD, is being treated at Lincoln Hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery, the commissioner said.
“By the grace of God, we’re not planning a funeral,” he remarked.
Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed Shea’s gratitude to a higher power for saving the officers’ lives — and to the skill and heroism of other 41st Precinct officers who worked to arrest the shooter.
But the mayor, as he had done last night following the first police officer shooting, condemned Sunday’s incident as “an attempt to assassinate police officers.”
“It was a premeditated effort to kill, and not just to kill other human beings, but those who wear a uniform that represents all of us,” de Blasio said. “An attack on police officers is an attack on all of us. It’s an attack on a democratic, decent society, and we will fight back with everything we have.”
Shea said the weapon recovered from the Sunday morning shooter — a 9mm Sig Sauer — is being tested to determine whether it’s the same gun used in the Feb. 8 shooting.
Detectives are also talking with a woman connected to the gunman, but at this time, she’s not considered a suspect, according to Shea.