Two NYPD cops shot and killed 'execution style' while sitting in patrol car

The gunman had posted threatening messages on Instagram before the shootings.
By Thor Benson Contact the Author   |  Updated Dec. 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Two uniformed New York City police officers were shot dead while sitting in their marked patrol car Saturday in Brooklyn.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William J. Bratton called the shooting an assassination, The New York Times reported. There was no warning and no provocation.

"Every New Yorker should feel they were attacked, that our entire city was attacked, by this heinous individual," de Blasio said in a news conference hours after the killing.

The gunman came out of a nearby house, walked up behind the patrol car and shot the officers, the New York Daily News reported.

He then ran to the Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues subway station and fatally shot himself.

Both officers were taken to Woodhull Hospital after the shooting, but both died. Bratton identified them as Wenjian Liu, who had been on the force for seven years, and Rafael Ramos, 40, an officer since 2012.

Police identified the shooter as Ismaaiyla Brinsley, 28, who had wounded his girlfriend in a shooting earlier Saturday in Baltimore.

Brinsley had posted threatening messages on Instagram before the shootings, police said, with the hashtags #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGarner #RIPMike Brown.

Demonstrations in New York and around the United States in recent weeks have decried the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers, as grand juries declined to indict in the killlings of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y.

Last week, two officers were injured after being assaulted by protesters near the Brooklyn Bridge, police said.

The Garner family is "outraged" by the officers' killing on Saturday, the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement Saturday night reported by msnbc. "We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown."

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