NYC police officer dies after being shot in head

New York City police officer killed after being shot in head in gun battle in Harlem

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks while Police Commissioner William Bratton, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill listen early Wednesday, October 21, 2015, New York

Officer Randolph Holder

New York City police officer Randolph Holder died in hospital hours after he was shot in the head in a gun battle while he and another officer were pursuing a suspect in East Harlem, Manhattan.

He was the fourth police officer to be murdered in New York City since December 2014.

Holder, 33, was a veteran in New York City Police Department (NYPD) for five years and an immigrant from Guyana, where his father and grandfather were police officers.

"Tonight, he did what every other officer in the NYPD does when the call comes — he ran toward danger," Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a press conference at the hospital where Officer Holder was pronounced dead on Tuesday night.

"It was the last time he will respond to that call," he continued.

Holder and his coworker encountered the armed man at East 120 Street and the FDR Drive, in Harlem. He was then shot in his head in an exchange of fire and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead in a few hours.

The suspect, who has not been identified yet, was caught by officers a few blocks away after he was shot in the leg. He is expected to be transferred to custody from hospital on Wednesday.

"Our hearts are heavy. We offer our thoughts and our prayers to his family," NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Holder’s fellow officers stood and greeted the ambulance carrying their friend left hospital on early Wednesday. They hugged each other afterwards.

Patrick Lynch, president of Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said "New York City police officers everyday go out and carry themselves like superheroes but the reality is when we're attacked we bleed, when we bleed we die and when we die we cry."

Over 100 police officers have died in duty in the US so far this year, 33 of them as a consequence of gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

TRTWorld and agencies