2015-10-28 / Front Page

Another Hero Cop Murdered

By Liz Goff
City cops this week are preparing to bury another young officer shot dead in the line of duty, the fourth New York City police officer shot to death by a career criminal in the last 10 months.

Police Officials said plainclothes NYPD Housing Officers Randolph Holder and Omar Wallace were on routine patrol at the top of a Harlem housing project on the evening of October 20, when they heard shots fired and called for backup.

One of the suspected shooters, career criminal Tyrone “Peanut” Howard, 30, flees the scene and runs to a nearby overpass over the FDR Drive, police officials said. Howard ends up on a promenade near the East River, where he runs north toward 106th Street, flashes a weapon and steals a bicycle from a man sitting on a nearby bench, officials said. “Police Officers in the area see the theft and put it over the air,” the officials said.

AT the same time, Holder and Wallace determine that three potential shooting suspects

 they have been following had nothing to do with the rooftop gunfire, so they head onto the promenade to continue their search for the shooters.

Howard pedaled up to the officers at about 8:43 p.m. on the stolen bike, police officials

said. “When he realized they were police officers, Howard drops the bicycle, pulls his weapon and fires one round, striking Holder in the front of his head,” the officials said. “Howard then walked toward Officer Walker, who fired his weapon one time, striking Howard in the leg, the officials said.

Members of an NYPD Emergency Services Unit rush Holder to Harlem Hospital, where

he died of his injuries at 10:22 p.m.

After fatally shooting Holder, Howard limps off the promenade and is captured by police a short while later between E. 124th and E. 125th Streets, officials said. Police recovered

“The whole thing happened really quick,” a housing police source said. “Howard turned around on the bike path after he realized the two men were cops, he jumped off the bike and blasted one round into Holder’s head,” the source said. “It was like, boom, boom, and it was over. He didn’t say a word, and Holder never stood a chance,” the source said.

NYPD divers recovered a weapon 20-feet below the East River at about 2:30 a.m. on October 25, NYPD Chief William Aubrey said. Investigators believe the weapon is the one used by Howard to kill Holder, Aubrey said.

NYPD forensics experts are checking the weapon for prints and DNA, and will perform a series of ballistics tests to determine if shells recovered next to Holder’s body were fired from the weapon, Aubrey said.

Dozens of fellow officers, NYPD officials and police union officials packed a Manhattan courtroom on October 21, at Howard’s arraignment, where the career felon was charged with multiple counts including first-degree murder of a police officer, attempted murder, weapons possession and robbery and was ordered held without bail. Howard is being held in the Manhattan Detention Center, “The Tombs,” until a Manhattan Grand Jury issues an indictment on the charges.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton blasted the May 2015 decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Patricia Nunez that put Howard into a “judicial diversion program” for drug addicts, instead of sentencing him to 25-years in jail for a 2014 drug arrest. Howard, last summer, apparently “diverted” himself from the residential treatment deal, and was wanted in connection with the September 1 shooting of an East Harlem drug dealer when he shot and killed Holder, police said.

“If ever there was a candidate not to be diverted it was this guy,” Bratton said. “His whole life has been about the escalation of crime and criminal activity.”

Nunez last week apologized for her decision to free Nunez, telling a reporter, “There is nothing that breaks my heart more than a police officer dying.”

Holder’s grieving father, Randolph, Sr., and other family members expressed mixed emotions upon learning of Nunez’ apology. “We really can’t think about that now,” a cousin said. “What good is an apology from the person who put this killer back on the street?” the father said. “Randy had big dreams, but now it’s all down the drain,” he said.

Holder, 33, a five-year NYPD veteran, arrived in the U.S. 12-years ago from Guyana and worked as a security guard at a Toys ‘R’ Us store before becoming an NYPD officer. He is the father of a 16-year-old daughter who is devastated by his death, family members said.

Holder, of Queens, made 125 arrests and earned six medals during his brief career with the NYPD, including five medals for excellent police duty and one for meritorious duty.

Members of the “Little Guyana” community in Richmond Hill held a memorial service for Holder on Saturday night, where Randolph Sr. told mourners he saw his son as a “chip off the old block,” because he followed his father and grandfather into a career as a police officer.

A wake is scheduled for the young cop from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 27, at the Greater AME Cathedral at 110-31 Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica. A funeral service for Police Officer Holder is scheduled for 3 p.m. on October 28 at the Greater AME Cathedral, with internment to follow in Georgetown, Guyana.

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