NYC officer fatally shot in gun battle; suspect in custody

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NYPD Officer Dies After Being Shot During Pursuit

NEW YORK (AP) — A police officer responding to a report of shots fired was killed during a gunfight and chase involving a stolen bicycle, and a suspect in his slaying was in custody, police said Wednesday.

Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was the fourth New York Police Department officer to be killed in the last 11 months, Police Commissioner William Bratton said. He was pronounced dead late Tuesday.


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"That's about as bad as it gets," Bratton said at an emotional news conference at Harlem Hospital early Wednesday.

Dozens of Holder's fellow officers stood outside the hospital and saluted as the ambulance carrying their fallen colleague left. Afterward, many embraced one another.

"Tonight, he did what every other officer in the NYPD does when the call comes — he ran toward danger," Bratton said. "It was the last time he will respond to that call."

See photos of Holder and the scene:

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NYPD officer Randolph Holder shot in Harlem
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NYC officer fatally shot in gun battle; suspect in custody
Police salute outside Harlem Hospital Center as the body of New York Police Department Officer Randolph Holder passes by in an ambulance, early Wednesday, Oc. 21, 2015, in New York. Holder, 33, died after being shot in the head in a gun battle Tuesday while pursuing a suspect following a report of shots fired, police said. (AP Photo/Michael Balsamo)
A photo, date not known, provided by the New York Police Department shows police Officer Randolph Holder, who police said died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in New York following a report of shots fired. (New York Police Department via AP)
This 2014 photo provided by the New York Department of Corrections shows Tyrone Howard who is in police custody as the suspect in the killing of New York City Police Department Officer Randolph Holder, who was shot dead Tuesday night, Oct. 21, 2015 during an exchange of gunfire in East Harlem. Howard, in police custody Wednesday, had been arrested 20 times for offenses ranging from drug possession to robbery, had been sentenced to state prison twice since 2007 on separate drug possession and sale convictions, state records show. (New York Department of Corrections via AP)
Police officers stand near the scene of a fatal police shooting in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Officer Randolph Holder, responding to a report of shots fired, was killed during a gunfight and chase involving a stolen bicycle. A suspect in his slaying is in custody, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Police officers, including one with a metal detector, work at the scene of a fatal police shooting in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Officer Randolph Holder, responding to a report of shots fired, was killed during a gunfight and chase involving a stolen bicycle. A suspect in his slaying is in custody, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A police officers stands near the scene of a fatal police shooting in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Officer Randolph Holder, responding to a report of shots fired, was killed during a gunfight and chase involving a stolen bicycle. A suspect in his slaying is in custody, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A candle with the image of St. Judas is places at a makeshift memorial to honor New York City Police Department Officer Randolph Holder who was shot dead Tuesday night during an exchange of gunfire in East Harlem, outside of Holder's station in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Holder, 33, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, is the fourth New York City police officer murdered in the city in the last 11 months. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A police officer says a silent prayer at the makeshift memorial to honor New York City Police Department Officer Randolph Holder outside the police station in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Holder, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, was shot dead Tuesday night during an exchange of gunfire in East Harlem. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A woman delivers flowers and fellow officers hang mourning bunting to honor New York City Police Department Officer Randolph Holder who was shot dead Tuesday night during an exchange of gunfire in East Harlem, outside of Holder's station in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Holder, 33, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, is the fourth New York City police officer murdered in the city in the last 11 months. (AP Photo/David Martin)
Tyrone Howard appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. Howard, who's accused of stealing a bike and fatally shooting Officer Randolph Holder in the head after a chase Tuesday night, was arrested Wednesday on robbery and murder charges. (Jefferson Siegel/The Daily News via AP, Pool)
Tyrone Howard appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. Howard, who's accused of stealing a bike and fatally shooting Officer Randolph Holder in the head after a chase Tuesday night, was arrested Wednesday on robbery and murder charges. (Jefferson Siegel/The Daily News via AP, Pool)
Tyrone Howard is escorted by police officers out of the 25th precinct Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. Howard is expected to be charged with fatally shooting New York Police Department Officer Randolph Holder during a gunfight Tuesday night on a pedestrian bridge leading to the East River after stealing a bike. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Candles burn at a memorial for New York City police officer Randolph Holder near the scene of his shooting near 120th street near the FDR drive Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. Tyrone Howard is expected to be charged with fatally shooting of Holder during a gunfight Tuesday night on a pedestrian bridge leading to the East River after stealing a bike. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Police officers investigate along FDR Drive at East 120 Street on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in New York where a New York City police officer was fatally shot. Officer Randolph Holder, 33, died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect following a report of shots fired, police said. (AP Photo/Michael Balsamo)
Police investigate following the fatal shooting of a police officer, early Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. The officer, Randolph Holder, 33, died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect following a report of shots fired. The shooting happened in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks while Police Commissioner William Bratton, head above lectern, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, left, and NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill listen early Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. A New York City police officer, Randolph Holder, 33, died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect following a report of shots fired Tuesday, police said. "He is the fourth New York City police officer murdered in this city in the last 11 months," Bratton said during a news conference at Harlem Hospital where Holder was pronounced dead Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Michael Balsamo)
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton speaks while Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, left, and NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill listen early Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in New York. A New York City police officer died after being shot in the head in a gun battle while pursuing a suspect following a report of shots fired Tuesday, police said. "He is the fourth New York City police officer murdered in this city in the last 11 months," Bratton said during a news conference at Harlem Hospital where Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was pronounced dead Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Michael Balsamo)
Suspected shooter of #NYPD Officer #RandolphHolder is Tyrone Howard, 30, with criminal past https://t.co/RgtXIwDfck
Once more the flags will be lowered. Once more the mourning bands will be worn. My message to the NYPD: https://t.co/aSQu1wQphI
A police officer cries after laying flowers in memory of Officer Randolph Holder at the 9/11 Memorial in New York, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Tyrone Howard is charged with first-degree murder and robbery, accused of stealing a bike and fatally shooting Holder in the head after a chase Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Port Authority and New York City police officers lay flowers in memory of Officer Randolph Holder at the 9/11 Memorial in New York, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Tyrone Howard is charged with first-degree murder and robbery, accused of stealing a bike and fatally shooting Holder in the head after a chase Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: An NYPD police officer puts up a reward poster for fellow officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center October 21, 2014 in the in East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A poster bearing pictures of NYPD officer Randolph Holder is shown at a vigil outside Police Service Area #5 October 21, 2014 in the in East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: People walk past a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A girl prays at a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Harlem Community leader Martin Baez visits a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside Police Service Area 5 on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: An NYPD officer lights a candle at a vigil for fellow officer Randolph Holder outside Police Service Area #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A member of the Guardian Angels attend a vigil for NYPD officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A group of young boys light candles at a vigil for NYPD officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
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The fatal shooting happened as Holder and his partner responded to a report of shots being fired at around 8:30 p.m. near a public housing development in East Harlem, in north Manhattan. When they arrived, a man and other witnesses said his bike had been stolen at gunpoint and the suspect fled with a group of people along a footpath heading north on the FDR Drive, adjacent to the East River.

The officers caught up to the suspect on a pedestrian overpass that spans the highway and traded gunfire. Holder was struck in the head, and the suspect fled down the river path near the highway. He was caught several blocks away with a gunshot wound in his leg, Bratton said. Police haven't yet identified him.

Three others were taken into custody for questioning.

A law enforcement official said a bicycle and at least one gun were recovered, and shell casings from possibly three weapons were discovered at the scene. The official wasn't authorized to discuss an ongoing probe and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. It's not clear whether more than one person fired on the officers.


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"We are humbled by Officer Randolph Holder's example, an example of service and courage and sacrifice," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Our hearts are heavy. We offer our thoughts and our prayers to his family."

De Blasio said Holder, who joined the force in July 2010, had an "exemplary record" as a police officer.

Holder was a native of Guyana. He worked in the NYPD division that polices the city's public housing developments. His father and grandfather were police officers in Guyana, Bratton said.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said: "New York City police officers every day 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."

Flags were at half-staff Wednesday at city buildings and other structures around the boroughs to mark Holder's death

Nationwide, 100 officers have died in the line of duty so far in 2015, up 15 percent from this time last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit law enforcement information clearinghouse. Of those, 31 were firearms-related deaths. Texas has the most deaths with 10. New York state is sixth.

In New York City, Officer Brian Moore was killed May 9 during a patrol. A suspect was charged with murder. And on Dec. 20, officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were ambushed and killed by a man who said he wanted to kill some cops in Brooklyn. The suspect killed himself in a nearby subway station.


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