NYPD Finds Gun Believed to Be Involved in Officer’s Death

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How accused cop killer dodged jail for freedom before fatal shooting.

Divers searching the Harlem River recovered a gun “consistent” with the weapon used to kill a police officer during a foot chase in Manhattan, the New York Police Department said Sunday. NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police divers found a gun in the East River early Sunday morning near where an NYPD officer was fatally shot more than four days earlier, authorities said.The first time accused cop-killer Tyrone Howard asked for a no-jail rehab program, in 2011, he was ordered locked up instead; the second time he asked, in 2014, the answer was yes, and he was green-lighted for freedom. A .40-caliber Glock was recovered around 3 a.m. about 20 feet below the river’s surface at 123rd Street, NYPD Chief of Detectives William Aubry said. “That firearm fits the same characteristics as the firearm that we were looking for,” Aubry told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern and WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. Detective John Mortimer, of the unit’s scuba dive team, spotted the pistol in the murky water near E. 123rd St. — about 100 feet from where the weapon’s 30-shot magazine was found on Wednesday — as divers methodically scanned the area grid by grid, according to officials.

The location of the gun, a semiautomatic .40-caliber weapon believed to have been fired one time — striking Officer Randolph Holder in the head — had been the main open question in the investigation into the death of the officer on Tuesday. Both times, Howard, a 30-year-old career crack and heroin dealer, was before a Manhattan judge on a felony drug-sale rap, asking for what’s called “judicial diversion,” a chance to be diverted away from prison and into a rehab program. The investigation continued into Sunday morning, with more than 100 officers combing a closed-down section of FDR Drive in search of more evidence, such as bullet fragments or shell casings.

But when he was denied diversion in 2011, it was after strenuous arguments before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Coin by an assistant district attorney with the city’s Special Narcotics Office. And it’s unclear if Howard’s prosecutor was ever aware that his colleagues in another office had the ammunition to keep the PCP-addicted drug dealer incarcerated. “The evidence was more than sufficient to show that . . . Holder, 33, a plainclothes officer with the Anti-Crime Unit at Public Service Area 5 in East Harlem, initially spotted Howard pedaling away on a stolen bicycle after he responded to 102nd St. and First Ave. for a shots fired call, authorities said. It’s got [at least one bullet] inside with markings that match the spent shell casings, which will likely match to the gun,” a law-enforcement source said.”Apparently, the bullet can still have markings if it’s slid through the rack without being fired. “We’re going to test for DNA and fingerprints [on the gun], but most likely we won’t find anything. ADA Daniel Davis’ arguments stretch across four pages of transcripts, leading Coin — who already had her doubts about Howard — to send him to prison.

Howard became involved in a gun battle with the result that (the bystanders) were hit with their stray bullets,” prosecutors wrote in their brief to the Appellate Division. The suspected shooter, Tyrone Howard, was taken into custody after the incident and on Wednesday was charged with first-degree murder and robbery, authorities said. “Numerous units within the NYPD have been extensively and exhausted all efforts to recover all forensic evidence regarding this case,” Chief Aubry said. And he goes into detail about a second violent case from Howard’s rap sheet — a 2009 shooting at an East River Houses basketball court in which Howard had been implicated but never indicted. “I am concerned by defendant’s record, that he is a three-time predicate [felon] and he had YO [youthful offender] for robbery in the first degree,” Coin says in starting to discuss the no-jail rehab option at a Dec. 20, 2011, hearing. “Your Honor, this is my case, even separate and apart from any drug use that this defendant might have, because the arrest in this case is PCP, passing over that is the violence that disturbs me as well, Your Honor,” Davis says.

The search for other evidence continued Sunday with about 100 officers dressed in Tyvek suits standing hip to hip across six lanes of the FDR drive scouring the area north of 119 Street. Once officers showed up, the thugs split up — leading cops on a chase across the footbridge at 120th Street and FDR Drive where Officer Holder faced off with career-criminalHoward. The 11-year-old recognized both Evans and Howard from the neighborhood and spotted them arguing at the edge of the court before the shooting, court papers showed. Shell cases from the test firing would be compared with discharged cases police recovered on 120th Street next to Holder’s body — in addition to the cases at 102nd Street where the first shots were fired, Aubry said.

He said the scuba team’s work was “very difficult.” The gun was under 20 feet of water and “they’re on their belly and they’re searching for it by hand.” I find institutional confinement of the defendant may be necessary for the protection of the public and is necessary for the protection of the public. Officer Holder was the fourth on-duty New York City officer to be killed in a 10-month span; the earlier three deaths all came at the hands of guns brought illegally to the city from Southern states.

The descriptions matched what the 11-year-old said about Howard’s garb, and “provided proof that defendant was not the only one with a gun on those basketball courts,” the prosecutors said. Court records show none of the cited evidence was publicly disclosed to either Justice McLaughlin — who allowed Howard to apply for the drug diversion program — or to Justice Nunez, who approved it. In fact, it was Howard’s own lawyer who reminded McLaughlin of his client’s arrest in the 2009 case, according to a transcript of a December 2014 hearing.

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