New York City Police Officer Randolph Holder was shot and killed last night in East Harlem after his team responded to a gunshot report. A shoot-out opened up, with shots coming from both sides of the street. Officer Holder was struck in the head. Four suspects remains in custody.
The shooting occurred at 120th Street and FDR drive (pictured above). The wounded officer was transported to Harlem Hospital in critical condition, but died shortly thereafter. According to police commissioner William J. Bratton, 33-year-old Holder was the fourth NYPD officer to die in the line of duty during the past year.
It was about 8:30pm when Officer Holder and his team received a report of gunshots. They rushed to the scene and found a gunman on a bike. Shots were exchanged and Officer Holder was shot in the head.
“He ran toward danger,” said Bratton. “It was the last time he will respond to that call.”
According to police, two gunmen took off on foot, one stealing a bike as he ran. Police caught one of the suspects near East 124th Street. The alleged gunman was taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center to be treated for a leg wound. Three other men were taken into custody for questioning. Police found the bike, a gun, shell casings from three weapons, and a loaded magazine from a semiautomatic pistol.
According to locals, the area in which Officer Holder was assigned to work typically experiences an increase in crime during this time of year. The violence is caused by rival gangs from different housing complexes. “This is when crews of kids start robbing and stabbing each other,” said Rev. Vernon Williams, known locally as the “pastor on deck.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio was called upon to speak at an impromptu news conference shortly after the officer’s death, saying that Randolph Holder “was an immigrant who wanted to give back to his city and his country, who had an exemplary record as a police officer.” Holder was a Guyanese immigrant following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. Both men worked as cops in Guyana.
Editor’s Note: This is a local story but every once in a while we like to remind people how police officers risk their lives every day. This man was a hero.