Adams, Williams mourn death of Guyanese NYPD officer

Police Officer Randolph Holder.
New York Police Department via AP

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams have joined residents of Brooklyn and all of New York City in mourning the death of Guyanese-born New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Randolph Holder, who was fatally shot in the line of duty Tuesday night.

“As a veteran of the New York City Police Department, I feel the pain of this horrific loss on a personal level, as do all those that make up the fraternity of ‘New York’s Fines,’” Adams said.

“Officer Holder served his city proud, a pride felt deeply by his brothers and sisters from Housing PSA 5, as well as by his family, which carries a legacy in law enforcement going back several generations in Guyana,” he added.

“May he rest in peace, may justice be served, and may everyone in our city honor his memory by doing their part to make this a safer place for our children and families,” Adams continued.

In a joint statement, Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx), Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and Williams (D-Brooklyn), said they were saddened by the shooting death of the 33-year-old officer.

“What a devastating night,” they said. “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.

“This level of violence against the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us every day is simply unacceptable,” they added.

Williams represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

Holder died after he was shot in the head while chasing a gunman in East Harlem on Tuesday, police said.

Holder, a police officer for five years, was the fourth killed in the line of duty in the past 11 months, NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton, said during an emotional news conference early Wednesday. He said a suspect was in custody.

Officer Holder and his partners were responding to reports of gunshots around 8:30 p.m. when they encountered a man riding a bicycle on East 120th Street on a pedestrian path over Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, according to the New York Times.

It said gunfire was exchanged, and Holder was struck in the head.He was taken in critical condition to Harlem Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:22 pm, Bratton said.

“He ran toward danger,” he said. “It was the last time he will respond to that call.”

According to the Times, the night’s events began when officers assigned to the Police Department’s housing unit heard gunshots at a park near 105th Street and First Avenue.

The unit reported on the radio that two men were running, one toward Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and the other toward First Avenue, a law enforcement official said.

Police officers swarmed East Harlem as the men continued running. A bystander told the police that a man had taken his bicycle at gunpoint, and units from 96th Street and 120th Street converged on the gunman, who began firing when he was confronted, the Times said.

The unidentified suspect was wounded in the leg and apprehended near East 124th Street, Bratton said.

He was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was expected to be released into police custody on Wednesday morning, the commissioner said.

Three other men were taken into custody at East 111th Street for questioning, he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was mourning an officer who gave his life to protect a city he loved.

“This sadness is so hard to describe,” he said, adding that Holder was “an immigrant who wanted to give back to his city and his country, who had an exemplary record as a police officer.”

According to the Times, Holder had joined the NYPD in July 2010, following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, both of whom had been police officers in Guyana.

“Three generations of police in this family,” Bratton said. “And the latest generation served here with us in New York City Police Department.”

He said Holder worked in the Housing Bureau and was assigned to a service area that covers three precincts spanning parts of the Upper East Side and Harlem in Manhattan.

Patrol officers in the Housing Bureau conduct so-called vertical patrols, checking for illegal activity in the halls and stairways and on the roofs, according to the Times.

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