Home News New York police officer shot, killed after 'exchange of gunfire'

New York police officer shot, killed after 'exchange of gunfire'

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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)
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 police officer has died after being shot in the head while responding to a report of a man armed with a gun in Manhattan.

The officer, named by the New York police department as Randolph Holder, was fatally shot in east Harlem on Tuesday evening.

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)
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)

The police department said an exchange of gunfire had taken place. “Officers in east Harlem responded to shots fired.

“Police officer Holder was fatally shot; a wounded suspect was apprehended four blocks away,” a statement from the department, posted on Twitter, said.

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 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)

Holder, of Police Service Area 5, the housing bureau, in Manhattan, was reportedly pursuing a man on foot after a report that a bicycle had been stolen.

Holder and another officer confronted the armed man and there was an exchange of gunfire, Commissioner Bill Bratton said. The officer was struck and the shooter fled on foot. The suspect was caught several blocks away with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Three men were taken into custody and were being questioned. A section of a busy parkway was shut down near where the officer was shot.

Police said 33-year-old Holder was the fourth police officer killed in the line of duty in New York city in the last 11 months.

Bratton said Holder was from Guyana, where his father and grandfather had both served as police officers.

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

Bratton said the suspect was expected to be released from a hospital early on Wednesday and transferred to police custody. The suspect was not identified.

The New York city mayor, Bill de Blasio, said the dead officer was “an immigrant who wanted to give back to his city and his country … who had an exemplary record”.

He added: “We’re all in mourning tonight. This whole city is in mourning … We’re humbled by officer Randolph Holder’s example.”

Bratton had earlier tweeted that he was at the hospital with the officer and asked New Yorkers to keep him in their prayers.

So far in 2015, 101 police officers have died in the line of duty in the US, with 33 of those deaths caused by gunfire according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. By early Wednesday Holder’s name already had been added to the list.

Copyright © 2015 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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